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No matter what size your business, from locally-owned retail to major national chains, shrink and loss is one of the biggest issues facing retail today. From supplier miscounts to outright shoplifting, loss can come in many forms and is one of the leading causes of profit loss and inventory control problems in retail stores of any type.


But not to fear! There are a number of steps you can take to prevent loss and shrink at a number of points in the retail process, all without a huge upfront cost:


Share Your Shoplifting Policy: Making sure your shoplifting policy is declared early and clearly to both your employees and customers is an ideal first step in reducing theft. Posting statements regarding your stance on shoplifting could prove an effective deterrent, and training your employees on this policy and how to enforce it will help keep your workers on the same page.


Maximize Visibility: Careful planning and design of your floor layout is crucial for preventing blind spots and making sure your items are easily tracked and countable. Keep a lot of merchandise displays on the floor to keep everything visible, and work to eliminate blind spots with mirrors and lights to avoid ‘theft corners’. Proper overhead LED lighting can help increase visibility as well.


Secure Your Backroom: A lot of retailers automatically assume their backroom is safe from theft or intrusion, but it’s always much better to be safe than sorry. Keep your merchandise on clearly-labeled wire shelving to maintain inventory levels and make counts and tracking easier, and if you have the space try to keep your most expensive items behind a security partition to further deter loss.


Have A Presence On The Floor: One of the easiest ways to deter theft and help reduce loss is through constant employee vigilance. Make sure to have enough floor coverage with your workers, and give everyone their own section to monitor and manage. Most shoplifting occurs in areas where employees don’t go, and ensuring these areas are carefully monitored will be one of the most effective deterrents for preventing shopfloor loss.


Maintain Careful Inventory Levels: This might sound a little obvious, but it’s one of the most effective methods of controlling loss and ensuring your workers are aware of your current stock and inventory. Set up careful inventory tracking practices and make sure all of your workers are carefully trained on these practices to keep inventory checks frequent and consistent. This way, if loss does happen, you’ll be in a better place to determine where and why to prevent it going forward.

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