How To Prevent Theft/Shoplifting in your Clothing Store

How To Prevent Theft/Shoplifting in your Clothing Store

Posted by Julie-Ann Dizon on Feb 11th 2022

As the owner of a boutique, you must deal with the issue of keeping your store secure regularly. It is a concern for everyone who owns brick and mortar stores, whether they've just started or have been in business for a few years.

You're probably reading this because you're concerned about security or are having issues with it. You want to know what to look for and how to avoid the most typical retail security errors. The most effective approach to "deal" with shoplifting is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some pointers to get you started:

1. Organize and clean up your store

Shoplifters love to hang out in disorganized stores. It's tough to tell when products have gone missing, when items are left in the wrong locations, and inventory isn't correctly displayed.

Identify smaller and most expensive items. Determine which part of your store is more vulnerable to theft. Place these products as close to the cashier or in a high-traffic area as possible. For instance, you can place a new arrival high-value crop top near the cashier.

Avoid overstocking display shelves or cabinets with too many products, though, so you can see how much stock is out at any given time. Set up products or fixtures in a way that allows you to check for missing items rapidly. Keep products visible at all times if at all possible. Regular tidying and stock management duties should be incorporated into your daily routine, especially during busy shopping seasons like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday.

2. Train your staff to be attentive

Educate your employees on retail theft prevention techniques they may use in the store. We'll look at some of the most effective shoplifting prevention tactics your employees may use.

  • Train them to engage customers and be attentive. For instance, tell them not to leave your customer unattended in the fitting rooms for a long time. Knock the door and ask if they need anything. It kept shoplifters from getting too comfortable in their fitting rooms if they committed fraud.
  • Train your staff to identify shoplifters and other potentially harmful people (e.g., nervousness, avoiding eye contact, sweating, playing with their hands, oversized clothing or carrying a large bag, or a lack of interaction with employees).
  • Prepare your staff to cope with aggressive, violent, or otherwise frightening people. Roleplaying can be a handy tool in this situation.
  • Document all procedures in a standardized Handbook that your staff can refer to at any time. When you encounter a new or unfamiliar situation, update the Handbook.

You can also prevent employee theft by informing your staff that you are:

  • Keep track of inventory at all times. Of course, the trick is to make it sound like a decision that benefits everyone rather than merely a way to keep individuals from stealing.
  • Putting in place high-security measures in your store or warehouse

3. Use excellent customer service.

Deliver excellent customer service to make your customers feel welcome. Still, it may also be a terrific way of discouraging stealing. A shoplifter's goal is to go undiscovered. They want to believe that they aren't being monitored and won't be caught. Shoplifters will feel less confident in their illegal conduct if you greet them with a smile and a greeting.

  • Greet all customers. It not only creates a positive customer experience but also lets shoplifters know that they've been noticed.
  • Customers must be asked how at least one staff member may serve them on the sales floor.
  • Employees should check in with consumers every 5-10 minutes if they are in the store for an extended amount of time.

You can make your genuine customers feel valued and cared for while discouraging prospective shoplifters by setting excellent customer service standards.

4. Optimize your store's layout

Create a store layout that allows your staff to track customers from the cash register. Avoid having spaces where your customers are surrounded by shelves, walls, or displays on more than two sides. Potential shoplifters will be less likely to steal from your store if you do these things, and they will make your checkout stand out on the left. Also, never leave your cash register unattended or unlocked. Most likely, move on to easier targets.

These strategies can make it more difficult for shoplifters to get away with your products if you can modify the layout of your store:

  • For a better visibility, keep your fixtures and displays low.
  • Lock the fitting rooms and limit the number of items each customer can bring in.
  • Place important items in an area where it can be easily seen.
  • Reduce the number of dark corners and hidden locations in the store. Instead, secure your products by using strong lighting, clear displays, and constant staff movement throughout the store.

These methods aren't perfect, but they can help stop shoplifters and make it simpler for you to catch them.

5. Provide security system

Today's market has a variety of simple-to-install security cameras to keep an eye on customers when you can't. To prevent theft and break-ins, put up signs stating that your property is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Make sure the store (both inside and out) is well-lit. After closing time, motion detection lights can assist deter burglars seeking dark areas to break in.

If you have a limited budget, you might put fake security cameras in your store to avoid stock theft. Cameras will convey the idea that your employees and customers are being observed, making them less likely to commit a crime.

If you're concerned about shoplifters stealing important items while you're not in the business, you can use your smartphone to monitor the CCTV stream. Many thefts, for example, occur late at night or early in the morning when there are fewer people on duty. You don't have to be present in your store to capture a shoplifter in the act with CCTV.

6. Put signages

Signs can be an efficient and cost-effective way to discourage potential shoplifters. Anti-theft signs can deter potential shoplifters. They stay in place 24/7 while shoppers and personnel move in and out of your sight. Here are a few pointers to help you get the most out of your loss prevention signage:

  • Place a sign near or on your front door, as this is where customers look first.
  • Rather than wasting valuable shelf or floor space with your placards, hang them high where shoplifters are most likely to look for security cameras.
  • The text on the signs should reflect your company's brand and consider your target audience.
  • Consider signs with eyes, which studies have shown to double the likelihood of cooperation.

Protect your business from theft

Theft and shoplifting is one of the major headaches and revenue loss for clothing businesses. After putting in a lot of time and money to succeed in your business, you should keep your business safe and secured from it.

Shoplifters become more creative in stealing from your store, so you should always be on the lookout for theft prevention tips and strategies to keep one step ahead. Both large and small businesses can adopt the mentioned suggestions with various budgets. With multiple methods available to protect your products, there's no need to leave your business open to stealing.