I had so much fun writing some ways that you can spot a thief, I thought I’d continue with a few more ways that you and your teams can identify potential external theft. Remember, the very best way to Stop Shoplifting is to provide exceptional customer service. This scares off the crooks and keeps your customers coming back week, after week. So, without delay, here’s a few other ways that you can identify a probable shoplifter.
#6. Out of season clothing
if it’s 90 degrees outside, and someone walks into the store wearing a heavy coat, chances are there wasn’t a sudden blizzard that you didn’t know about. I’ve caught several shoplifters who’ve told me that they thought that a heavy coat would block the Checkpoint Tags from sounding the alarm. Wrong. Just wrong on so many levels. So the next time that you see someone with a heavy parka and a beanie in the middle of summer, go offer some service; and perhaps a water.
#7. Erratic shopping behavior
It’s one thing to shop around the store, especially if you’re gift shopping, or maybe just killing time. I’m guilty of that, especially around lunch time. There is a line that can be crossed from simple wandering, to erratic behavior that should cue your Spidey Senses. Shoppers that almost run from department to department and grab whatever they can and toss it in the basket could be a red flag. Shoppers that seem “wired” or under the influence can also be strong indicators of a possible theft. Shoppers that bite your Checkpoint Tags should be a giant, waving red flag (that’s a story for another time). If you have a shopper exhibiting this behavior, then please, by all means, go offer some service; at your own risk… 😊
#8. Flat and empty purses
Most ladies carry a purse. To that point, the spectrum is pretty wide on what is carried in those purses. I know some that carry virtually everything needed for a three-day hike in the Himalia’s, where others stick to the bare essentials. What really should stand out to you is purses that are COMPLETELY flat. Purses that are folded up on top of a basket, or folded flat under the shopper’s arm. Chances are, if someone is bringing a completely empty purse into the store, they probably want to fill it with goodies.
#9. Staging merchandise
Sometimes, shoplifters have to build up the courage to do the deed. If you want to Stop Shoplifting, you should be able to quickly identify this behavior. In this scenario the shoplifter takes a product, like clothing, or other items from the home location and brings them to an area of the store that is somewhat secluded. Perhaps they remove the Checkpoint Tags here, but the merchandise is then placed on the shelf, or hidden behind other product. This shoplifter may make this trip several times before going back and finally loading up before exiting. Pay attention to shoppers that do this and if you see it, get in there and provide some customer service!
#10. Placing merchandise on top of a purse
This is a combination of the two indicators above. Take special note of shoppers that take items (clothing, small items, etc), fold them up and place them on top of their purse, which is in turn sitting on the top portion of their basket. I’ve seen this one a thousand time. This is usually a middle-age female, who may be a regular customer. She may spend a significant amount of money, but she’s also robbing you blind. By folding the product and placing it right on top of the purse, it can be concealed in a matter of seconds. ANY time I see this action in my store, I immediately provide the very best customer service. Often, I’ll remark on specific items that I see, so that the shoppers sees that I’m aware of what they are in possession of.
Remember, there are dozens of indicators that can alert you to a potential shoplifter, the end result to discourage them is always the same. Customer service can and will Stop Shoplifting. Train your teams to provide the best possible to everyone, and it will increase your sale and ultimately decrease shrink.
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