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Use Customer Service to Prevent Shoplifting


Good store management can be an effective tool against shoplifting. Retailers should also use store layout, adequate inventory controls and follow common security practices to combat shoplifting. If your store has been designed to reduce shoplifting, another form of prevention is to use customer service techniques to take away opportunities to steal.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: < 20 Minutes

Here's How:

  1. Staffing: Schedule an adequate number of employees to work at one time.
  2. Greetings: Greet every customer that enters the store. This lets the customer know you are aware of their presence.
  3. Be Attentive: Make yourself available to all customers and never leave the store unattended.
  4. Receipts: Give each customer a receipt for every purchase. Require receipts for refunds for cash. Trash any discarded receipts immediately.
  5. Stay Focused: Don't allow customers to distract the cashier while another person is being checked out.
  6. Bag Check: Implement a policy and procedure for backpacks and bags brought in by customers.
  7. Code 3: If you notice suspicious activities, alert other employees immediately. Many stores have a security code to alert staff of possible shoplifters.
  8. Helping Hand: Approach the suspicious person and ask if he/she is finding everything okay. Mention that you’ll be near by should he/she need your help. Make the shoplifter feel watched.
  9. Tag Swap: Cashiers should watch price tags and be on the lookout for price switching. Ask for a price check if something seems out of place.
  10. Hidden Items: Shoe boxes, pocket books, baskets with lids and any other product easily opened should be inspected by cashiers to be sure it does not contain other merchandise.
  11. Sealed Shut: Every bag should be stapled closed, with the sale receipt attached.

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