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On May 15th, 2019

What Shoplifters Really Go After in Your Store

Whether you’re a store manager for a major retail chain or the owner of a local boutique, preventing shoplifting is always a top priority. You can train your employees to do their part to dissuade would-be thieves, but sometimes extra precautions are in order. Staying up-to-date on the top shoplifted items can help you target your security plan.

Top Targets for Shoplifting

It’s normal to see a spike in shoplifting during the busy holiday season, but that doesn’t mean retailers can take a break the rest of the year. Retail shrinkage is an ongoing concern. It hurts the bottom line for both large and small businesses, which then drives up prices for other shoppers. Keeping expensive items like electronics locked in display cases can sometimes help the cause, but other items need to be out in the open. Knowing what type of merchandise is at-risk often gives managers and owners a leg-up for theft prevention.

According to the 2018 Organized Retail Crime Survey, the top stolen items in retail include a blend of higher-ticket items and everyday essentials. Surprisingly, the report says this list of shoplifted products hasn’t changed much over the years. Retail crime gangs continue to go after designer clothes the most:

  • Designer Clothes
  • Designer Handbags
  • Blue Jeans
  • Cell Phones
  • High-End Liquor
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Infant Formula
  • Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Teeth Whitening Strips

Of course, the types of items that get stolen from your store will vary based on your own merchandise. Local bookstores won’t have home goods, just as outdoor outfitters don’t carry handbags. Reviewing your own numbers for shrinkage will help you determine the specific “problem areas” of your own store. Is there a collection of items in the back that always has lower numbers on the floor than what your inventory shows? Or do you need to have a better system in place for the high-ticket items near the main doors? It’s important to address the problem from every angle.

Coaching team members to greet each shopper as they enter the store can help alert shoplifters to watchful eyes. But it’s equally important to have strict protocols for combating return fraud and employee theft. These changes can make a big difference for a store’s overall shrinkage reports. Unfortunately, it takes time to implement the best practices for shoplift prevention. So, as companies work to develop these types of training programs, it can help to get other systems up-to-date. This is a great next step because it can have immediate benefits.

Preventing the Problem with EAS

One reason retail shrinkage continues its upward trend, according to the 2018 National Retail Security Survey, is because owners overlook technological methods. Investing in systems that alert staff to possible theft are a great line of defense. Electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags can be discrete and effective. It’s just a matter of getting them in place.

Units like Checkpoint Systems can give retailers the protection they need against losses. These solutions work for just about any storefront because they come with a variety of different anti-theft tags. Enhanced Telecommunications and Data is proud to install these units, and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have about implementing stricter security standards. From commercial surveillance cameras to your own EAS tags and antennas, we can do it all!

It’s unlikely that shoplifting will ever go away entirely, but we can certainly do our part to help improve the odds. To start the conversation about getting the right system for your business, give our team a call at (208) 947-3900. We'd be honored to partner with you.

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