After spending years trying to prevent losses and instill superior clothing security in my stores, I recently had the chance to be on the flip side. I had a partnership with one of the other managers at a neighboring retailer. We called each other frequently to discuss trends and share ORT information. One day he asked me to help him do some shoplifter awareness training for his store. I would come in as a customer and start stealing. It would be a test to see how many associates were aware of what was going on in their departments.
So on the scheduled time and date I entered. One of the first things I did was to go to their accessories department and pick out a large bag. I was able to find one without any Checkpoint tags on it. As I rode up an escalator to the clothing upstairs, I pulled the tag off. Now it looked to everyone on the second level that the bag was mine.
I then spent the next thirty minutes stuffing the bag with as much merchandise as what I could fit. I tried to use as many shoplifter-warning signs that I could think of. Selecting multiple items without regard to size or color. I looked through items to find which one did not have any sort of clothing security tag. I wanted to get out the doors without sounding the clothing alarm.
By the time I was done, I had been to the top five shrink areas and made it out the door with approximately $4000.00. In a recap later, my colleague told me about some of the phone calls from associates when they saw me stealing. I don’t feel too bad about being a poor shoplifter. The associates learned a lot that day. Not just about how a shoplifter operates, but also how important clothing security and Checkpoint tags are.
Please note: This training exercise was conducted in an extremely controlled environment. We had approval from both corporate headquarters and both parties signed a written agreement. The associates were aware that the test would be conducted on that day, and the entire test was filmed. All merchandise was returned in new condition as soon as I exited the store.
Visit the Loss Prevention Store to purchase a clothing alarm or clothing security tags.