Shoplifting Prevention: Five Easy Tips to Deter Shoplifters

Simple steps for both the inside and outside of your store that can help prevent shoplifting.

Last Updated:
April 8, 2022
| ~
min Read
Guest Author
LiveView Technologies

There’s nothing more violating than having your goods stolen. Unfortunately, it’s a problem every retailer has to face. But you don’t have to accept it. You can stop would-be thieves by following some simple guidelines for shoplifting prevention.

Train your staff to watch for suspicious activities

Your staff is the first line of defense when it comes to stopping shoplifters. Train them to greet customers and look out for suspicious behaviors. Here are some common things to look for:

  • Carrying bags from outside the store. Look out for people who bring in large backpacks, purses, and other shopping bags. They can also use baggy clothing.
  • Entering the store as a group. Members of the group can distract employees while others attempt to shoplift. Even children can serve as a distraction.
  • Asking distracting questions. Is the customer asking you to look in the backroom or call another store? Sometimes this can be a tactic to get employees to move away from their post.

Greet customers and engage with them

One of the simplest and best tips to prevent shoplifting is greeting customers as they enter the store. After they enter, train employees to ask wandering shoppers what they are looking for and if they need help with anything.

If the staff regularly engages with customers, potential shoplifters will feel like they’re being monitored. Often this simple step can cause them to back down..

Keep track of high-ticket items

Shoplifters will likely target smaller items that they can pocket easily. Keep valuable items like jewelry, electronics, and other small high-ticket items locked in a cabinet so no one can access them without supervision.

Another good strategy is to keep these items in the back of the store. That way, employees have more time to notice would-be shoplifters. It also gives them more opportunities to engage with potential shoplifters and prevent them from stealing.

Schedule employees properly

Most of the time, you can predict your store’s busy times of the day and which seasons see the most customers. This will help you schedule your team accordingly. Are there any holidays coming up? What about Black Friday? Is it summer break or back to school season? Are there local events that draw in a big crowd?

There’s no need to be caught off guard. Hire seasonal employees when needed and schedule enough staff to cover the predictable flow of customers so you have enough eyes to watch for potential shoplifters.

Install security cameras

You can take your security to the next level by installing security cameras in your place of business. 

For one, the mere presence of security cameras can deter thieves. If cameras are placed in full view, potential shoplifters will know they’re being watched and avoid the trouble altogether.

Security footage is also valuable for a few other reasons. They include:

  • Collecting critical evidence against prosecuted shoplifters
  • Identifying previously unknown thieves
  • Monitoring areas where employees aren’t available

Bonus tip: protect the outside first 

If you want to get serious about shoplifting prevention, start with protecting the outside of your store. This involves installing visible deterrents like cameras in the parking lot. This will help keep potential shoplifters and other bad actors out of the store. Try LVT's hardware in your parking lot. With it, you can better defend your business, reduce theft, and prevent shoplifters from stealing valuable goods. In fact, one national retailer reduced internal shrinkage by 62% because they stationed LVT Units in their parking lot. Find out how we can help at your retail location by requesting your free demo.

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