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Use Store Design to Reduce Shoplifting


It has been reported that employee theft and shoplifting combined account for the largest source of property crime committed annually in the United States. The easiest way for retailers to discourage theft in a store is by taking away opportunities to steal. A little thought into the store's layout and design can prevent theft before a loss occurs.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: >1 Hour

Here's How:

  1. Checkout: Design the store lay out so customers must pass the register area and staff to exit the store. Never leave the register unlocked or unattended. Do not display merchandise near the store exits.
  2. Tidy Up: Keep the store neat and orderly. Full displays and straightened shelves allow employees to see at a glance if something is missing.
  3. View All: Use mirrors to eliminate blind spots in corners that might hide shoplifters. Maintain adequate lighting in all areas of the store, keep fixtures and displays low for better visibility.
  4. Under Lock and Key: Place small, expensive items in locked cabinets or behind the counter. Rest rooms and dressing areas should be watched at all times. Keep dressing rooms locked and limit the number of items taken in by each customer. Use alarms on unlocked exits and close or block off unused checkout aisles.
  5. Signage: Signs and posters reinforcing security messages should be used. Post anti-shoplifting signs like 'Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted' in clearly visible locations.
  6. Security: Use security equipment such as closed circuit television, security tags and two-way mirrors. Uniformed security guards are also powerful visual deterrents to the shoplifter.


  1. A well-designed store layout will not eliminate all shoplifting but will help reduce it. Combine customer service techniques with good store design to combat shoplifting.

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