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  Loss Prevention Guide - Top 10 Actions To #PreventTheft   

   By :  Tina
    Dec 16, 2017    Views: 3825
As retailers know the holiday season brings with it the greatest opportunity for sales. But unfortunately it is also a busy time for shoplifting! Organizations that take prevention of theft seriously improve the shopping experience of honest consumers and improve the profitability of the business.  
Halo Metrics has worked with Loss Prevention professionals across Canada for almost 30 years. Based on their feedback and knowledge we have put together a quick checklist of simple actions you can take to prevent theft on a daily basis.  We hope you find this information helpful and send us your thoughts if you think we should add something?  Find us on social media @halometrics !

Top 10 Actions to #PreventTheft 

1.  Make eye contact and greet everyone that enters the store – This is the first line of defense. By making eye contact and greeting everyone that enters the store, you are decreasing the likelihood of the thief stealing from your store. Why? Because you made eye contact with them, which means they know you can easily identify them. 

2. Keep expensive merchandise away from entrance/exits – Similar to dine and dash, you would not want someone to quickly come in and grab your expensive merchandise and be able to quickly run out. By placing your expensive merchandise further into your store, but away from exits, this decreases the opportunity or the likelihood for those quick grab and dash thieves. 
3. Alternate direction of hangers for merchandise on racks to prevent sweeps – Again, you want to create difficult scenarios to avoid being a target of these quick grab and dash thieves. By alternating the direction of hangers, you are making it harder for the thief to sweep the rack; thus, diverting attention to the thief because of the struggle.

4. Employee Awareness - Engage with customers and ask open ended questions – if you are occupied with another customer, verbally acknowledge them and let them know that you will be right with them or request assistance from your colleague. If a customer is acting suspiciously, ask open ended questions then state, “I’ll be right over here if you need help or have any questions.” This lets the potential thief know that you are aware of their presence. Again, thieves hate attention so if you are engaging and acknowledging them, they are unlikely to steal as you can now easily identify them.

5. Assign employee zones within the store including the front door – You want to be able to allocate your employees throughout the store so that each zone is covered. You do not want to have all your staff at the front with one person in the back of the store. It is better to disperse your employees for better coverage. It disables the potential thief from finding privacy and doing all the shoplifting in that employee-free zone.


6. Exercise the Shop Keeper’s Right to Refuse Act for all known shoplifters – If you encounter a known shoplifter, call mall security in advance if you believe the individual may become violent or aggressive. It is better to have mall security at the store right away to assist you in case something happens. 

7. Identify suspicious actions and let them know you are there to “assist” if required – When someone is paying more attention to the employees than the product, they are looking for an opportunity to steal as they probably already know what they are going to steal. If they are coming into your store with large duffle bags or worn out-wrinkled bags from other retailers, it is likely that these bags are for their stolen goods. Usually shoppers come to their malls with a small bag/purse or brand-new looking retailer bags (having bought something from their store). If someone is staying in areas where employee visibility is limited (corners or behind pillars), it is likely that they are trying to be discreet to create opportunities to steal.

8. Create mitigations for these common tactics used to steal – a. Shoplifters tend to distract the employee while their partner goes and does the job. Ensure that each employee is paired up with another to act as backup assistance (or eyes in this case) in the event that one is busy assisting another customer. They also tend to target new employees or employees working alone. Again, ensure everyone has a partner for backup assistance. 

b. Grab and run is the most common method as it is quick and sometimes you don’t know even know it happened until it’s too late. You can prevent this from keeping your expensive or top shrink merchandise away from all entrances/exits.

c. Waiting for peak selling times when employees are busy helping other customers is another method used to steal. Make sure not to understaff during peak hours. Saving costs by understaffing is not worth losing the profits from theft during that time!  

9. Follow these steps after witnessing a theft – The most important thing to do after you witness theft is NOT to confront or accuse the shoplifter as it can lead to violence and aggressive behavior. Safety comes first! Notify other employees or your manager of the incident. You can approach the suspect and begin a conversation such as “I see you selected the blue ‘xxxx’, let me show you something similar that you may like ...” Afterwards, give the shoplifter a little bit of space to be able to “ditch” the product while you linger close to the entrance.
10. Use these cost effective solutions to #PreventTheft – Simply having antennas/gates at the entrances/exits is a visual deterrent. Shoplifters would know that you have security on the top shrink items so it would discourage them from targeting your store. If you are on a tight budget, we have low cost solutions that are also great for acting as a visual deterrent such as locking peg hooks, peg hook locks, one alarm Spider Wraps or Cableloks (to prevent pilfering). 


Great customer service, employee awareness, and implementing a theft awareness programs into your organization can help you #PreventTheft. As the holiday season is here, be sure to follow these steps to lower your theft rate and increase sales!


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