12 retail theft prevention tips for your business

Estimated read time 3 min read
A woman placing a stolen shirt in her purse.

You might not know it, but theft is still a common issue for retail businesses in Canada. In fact, theft committed by both customers and employees costs Canadian retailers billions of dollars a year.

To help you stop shoplifters in their tracks, we’ve outlined some key retail theft prevention tips for your business:

  1. Install a welcome bell at your door to help you keep track of who’s entering your store.
  2. Make your presence known to ward off suspicious shoppers. A friendly greeting to your customers can not only make trustworthy customers feel welcome but also discourages any potential shoplifters.
  3. Follow up with shoppers after greeting them. If a shoplifter is engaged often within a store, they’ll think twice before they shoplift merchandise. This also has the added benefit of ensuring customers feel they can ask you for assistance if they need it.
  4. Review your store’s layout to make sure there are no blind spots and that there’s adequate lighting. You may also want to consider elevating your sales counter for better visibility. This can help keep potential shoplifters within your line of sight.
  5. Keep expensive items near the checkout counter. Certain items in your store may be prime targets for shoplifters. Placing expensive merchandise near the checkout counter allows you to closely monitor them and minimizes the opportunity for theft.
  6. Use electronic tags on all of your merchandise to detect non-purchased items that exit your front door.
  7. Set up security cameras to help you capture footage of all areas in your store. Surveillance systems or closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras can be extremely helpful, especially when you’re busy helping customers.
  8. Offer to place things in a fitting room. You’ll be able to track the number of items being tried on and likely notice if something goes missing.
  9. Offer to place merchandise behind the register counter. This allows you to keep track of merchandise easily.
  10. Have one exit and entrance. If there’s only one way in and one way out, it will be easier to see who’s coming and going from your shop.
  11. Pay attention to price tags when a customer pays. Although it’s not shoplifting, it is a form of retail theft if a customer alters price markings. Also, be sure to issue customers receipts when they pay or are refunded, so that shoplifters can’t return to the store with a stolen item and demand a refund or store credit.
  12. Hire an adequate number of employees. With more eyes looking out for shoplifting, the better chance you have of catching someone in the act. For bigger stores, hiring more employees could be helpful. Plus, additional employees can assist with other tasks too, like re-stocking shelves and assisting customers.

Protect yourself and your retail business

By implementing these retail theft prevention tips, you can help to reduce the risk of shoplifting and protect your bottom line. However, even with the best prevention measures in place, theft can still occur. That’s why it’s important to have the right insurance coverage in place. Learn more today by visiting our retail insurance page!

This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply to coverage. See policy for details.

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