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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

Reducing retail loss

As a retail store owner or operator, we don’t consider our customers as thieves. But in a declining economy of which Darwin is facing the reality is that more people will turn to theft to make ends meet.

Here are some tips to deter thieves from your store.

1. Know the Facts - In retail an allowance made for the reduction in the takings of a business due to wastage or theft is called shrinkage. While statistically in Australia 38.7% of shrinkage in retail occurs from shoplifting, 46.1% occurs from employee theft. This means that your employees may be stealing more than the customers are. You will have to invest in an employee theft program, as the average employee theft goes on for two years before it is detected. This can be as easy as enforcing staff take regular leave, this allows alternative staff to detect any discrepancies.

2. Know when the thieves are in your store - There will be times when more things are stolen than at others. For example, when school lets out you may have students in your store who don’t have money to shop and take things their parents won’t buy them. The 2-3 days prior to pension days usually spike as well due to hardship. Have a security personnel patrol your store during these periods.

3. Know who your thieves are- Post a sign that you have the right to search all big bags and baby buggies before they leave the store. If someone insists on bringing in a baby buggy or large bag, have them check it with the cashier at the front of the store. Thieves generally operate in packs, use trespass order (24hr Bans) etc to disperse known groups.

4. Have someone watching a CCTV- A closed circuit television isn’t helpful if someone isn’t watching it. Thieves have already cased your store and they know if the staff are watching the monitor is distracted instead of watching the monitor.

5. Get a Security, threat and risk assessment – The assessment not only reports risks and potential threats, they generally provide design and security advice to not only mitigate loss through theft but also through the discovery of work, health and safety concerns.

If you require more professional and detailed advice a Security, threat and Risk management report can be arranged by contacting me on 0402 152 929.

You may be annoyed by the behaviour of some customers and employee’s, but it is better to plan for the worst and be surprised, than be ignorant of the loss and feel betrayed.

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