Why Retail Theft Happens And How To Stop It

A 2021 Statista report indicated over 228,000 shoplifting incidents in the year under review. The areas most notable for this were England and Wales. Theft is a common issue retail stores often have to deal with. For those who engage in the act, several reports attribute the crime to any or more of the reasons indicated below. This article will also highlight a few ways to prevent them.

  • Lack of tracking and security

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Ideally, it is advisable to opt for regularly manned security services whenever the store is open. However, due to reasons best known to some entrepreneurs, a 24-hour manned security service may seem too costly. These business owners fail to realise that the constant loss of valuable items may sometimes exceed financial resources committed to the store’s security.

The truth is, many experienced shoplifters have a good idea about the stores that lack constant monitoring and tracking. Due to this, they find it convenient to ply their trade as many times as possible. Again, persons who engage in retail theft know that as long as shops do not record more than 2 – 3% of store theft, they (stores) will not be too concerned. Fortunately, with the help of strategically positioned mirrors, signages, cameras, and security, you can minimise or stop these acts.

  • Inadequate store staffing

This brings to the fore the issue of inadequate store staffing and its risks. When you have a pretty sizeable physical retail shop, hiring just one person at the cash register or the till may not be ideal. Perhaps, you didn’t know that potential shoplifters are experienced in distracting store staff before committing the act. Therefore, if you have only one person in the shop, it might be fertile ground for theft to occur. 

As a tip, you have the option to employ more staff. In addition to this, it helps to teach your workers to spread out without raising suspicions on their primary objective. Admittedly, this works pretty well in large retail stores that require extra hands. While you need these extra hands to work, they can also become the ears and eyes of the store.

  • Increase in self-service sales methods

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According to the BBC, the unpopular rise of self-service sales methods puts a retail business at a very high risk of theft. For many retail vendors, though, self-service checkouts look appealing because of reduced overhead costs. However, it does almost nothing to fully address the incidences of retail thefts at the counter.

As a business, this should concern you enough to take stringent measures to nip the trend in the bud. In the early stages, shoplifting and retail theft may seem like nothing much. However, you may run or operate at a loss when it happens over a period.

The UK continues to battle with many types of retail theft. According to retailgazette.co.uk, 52% of these crimes go unpunished, which is worrying. In effect, it is in your interest to choose the adopted strategies that work for your business, and the ones discussed here are a few suggestions.

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