I am sitting here in the college library where I work and I am hearing a conversation behind me about clothing security. The speaker is loud and I cannot help but overhear the discussion, though trust me I would rather not hear most of it. I did hear him talk about working in a fitting room at the store where he is employed and finding that someone had stolen merchandise. I could not catch all of what he was saying but somehow he or the people in the store knew that the same person had been in the store twice stealing. That got me to thinking, how did you know that the same person was in the store twice in one day stealing? Did someone review video and see this? I also want to know how someone was able to steal if the fitting is attended by an associate? I could not hear particulars and just as quickly as it started the conversation switched to another topic and was just as annoying but now I was on to writing my article. This conversation provided the perfect lead in. Just how do you prevent clothing theft and should you be concerned with everything or just certain items?
Since the yappy student behind me started the whole thing let’s begin with the way to prevent shoplifting. Your first instinct may be to say that using Sensormatic tags and security system is going to be my first recommendation. Your first instinct is going to be wrong. What I am going to tell you is that the first thing you need to do to reduce clothing theft is to get Manager training on how to stop shoplifting and also employee theft. That’s right, shoplifters aren’t the only people carting off clothing. Merchandise theft is an internal problem as much as an external one and in some cases it involves both. Owners and store managers have to know how to identify the signals and indicators that gives thieves away. That can only be possible when someone has undergone proper training. Once that is done you can begin training employees on how to help stop the shortage too.
Now you just know that the next step is going to involve placing Sensormatic tags and installing a security system. Again, you are wrong. You want to reduce theft? Start using pre-employment background screening and drug testing. No, you aren’t testing your customers. You test the people you are thinking about hiring. You eliminate the riff-raff and improve the chances that your staff is filled with honest personnel who do not pose security concerns for your business.
You know what’s coming now don’t you, yup now is when you install that Sensormatic system and begin using clothing security tags on merchandise. You don’t necessarily have to tag everything to begin seeing results. Tag merchandise your inventory results point to as high theft departments and begin to prevent shoplifting there. If your store sells shoes place tags on the most popular brands. I would not encourage you to tag flip flops or low-end designs. Tag what shoplifters are stealing. Fashion accessories such as purses, wallets, scarves and neckties can also be high theft items in the clothing world. Purses are highly vulnerable since they can be tossed over a shoulder and look like it belongs to the carrier. The same holds true for hats, you put it on your head and walk out of the store. Unless employees are paying attention hats are easy to steal.
This brings us full circle to where that annoying conversation comes in to play. Attention is a requirement for employees to help prevent shoplifting. If they are not paying attention to what is taking place around them the shoplifters are going to go unnoticed and commit their crimes. You can use clothing security tags on merchandise but if your workers are inattentive or apathetic they are not going to be effective in responding to electronic article surveillance alarms at the doors. They will also be careless in inspecting what people are taking in and out of the fitting rooms. The same thief will be able to enter the store numerous times during a day and no one will notice.
Install a Sensormatic system and use Sensormatic tags on the clothes that are being stolen. Train your managers on how to stop theft. Use pre-employment screening to reduce the chance for theft in your store and finally make sure employees are actively engaging customers. You do this and the conversation I heard in the library will be a non-issue for you.
For more information on about clothing security, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567