When you own a retail store, loss prevention means more than installing a few security cameras and making sure you lock the doors at night. Shoplifting, employee theft, fraud, and organized retail crime resulted in more than $45 billion dollars in inventory loss in 2019 alone.
So what can you do to protect your business?
A loss prevention plan for your retail store will prevent you from becoming another statistic. But what’s included?
Having a thorough plan in place protects you in the event of theft, fraud, and more. And no matter what kind of retail store you operate, an effective retail plan will limit your losses and help your business stay profitable. Here are a few tips on creating an efficient retail loss prevention plan.
Invest in a comprehensive security system
A security system with cameras, anti-theft technology, signage, and supervision will go a long way in preventing shoplifting from your store. Train your employees to look for signs of shoplifting, and develop an internal procedure on how to monitor potential shoplifters. The biggest key in a security system is making sure someone is monitoring it — consider hiring a dedicated employee for security, or invest in a system with push notification technology so you can be alerted of motion, broken windows, and more when the store is closed for the day.
Audit hiring and training processes
Hiring the right people can make or break your business. During the hiring process, carefully vet who you’re bringing on — even if it’s just a part-time or seasonal employee. Check references, conduct background checks, and do simple online research to weed out people who might cause problems on the job.
For new and current employees, make sure your training processes are constantly up to date. Some of those training policies should include:
- Highlighting what security systems are in place
- How to manage a potential shoplifting situation
- An emergency response plan
- How to properly open and close the store
Use a cash safe
Retail locations with cash on hand have a higher risk of theft and robbery. Install in a cash safe to protect your business from employee or customer theft — keep your money locked away and protected.
Closely monitor your inventory and cash drawers
Accountability is a huge portion of managing a successful store. Your employees should know that you or a store manager are closely monitoring inventory and the cash drawer daily. This is an extra step in installing a security system and making sure you’re on top of exactly how much cash and inventory your store has.
Other options to include when monitoring inventory and cash drawers:
- Should I invest in an inventory management system?
- How often should I do a physical inventory?
- Who should have access to inventory management?
- Who can I trust to accurately track inventory and money in the cash drawer?
Create an emergency response plan
What should you do in the event of an armed robbery or a violent event? Make sure all employees are trained in your emergency response plan. After everyone goes through training, rehearse the plan to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Find the right insurance to protect you
Most businesses are required to have a Businessowners' Policy (BOP), which is specifically designed for small businesses. It includes business property and general liability coverages and offers broad coverage for a low premium. In a Businessowners’ Policy, you can customize your specific coverage based on what you specifically need for your business — like coverages for your employees, your physical property, and more.