According to the latest National Retail Federation survey, American retailers lose almost $50 billion annually to theft. Shoplifting accounts for 36.5% or most of those losses.


If you understand the factors that lead to the shoplifting epidemic, it will help you determine effective measures, recognize points of intervention, understand seasonal patterns, and select an appropriate set of responses when it comes to your own retail business.


  1. Point-of-Sale (POS) System

First, start with help from your POS software. A POS system can help you keep track of what is on your shelves through inventory management, which can help you account for inventory shrinkage.


  1. Surveillance Cameras

Monitor your store’s activity 24/7 by installing surveillance. Study your customer traffic flow. You can monitor how people move through your store and make it to the checkout line or the front door with stolen merchandise. You can make appropriate changes to your store’s design flow to increase sales instead of losing them.


  1. Signs/Mirrors

If you can’t afford video surveillance, another great way to deter shoplifters is through signs and mirrors. Let customers know with prominent signs that shoplifting will not be tolerated and persecution will happen.


  1. Know the Times

A recent Arizona State University study found that Wednesday through Sunday were peak shoplifting days. Add in summers, and holidays as high chances of shoplifting.


  1. Keep It Organized

If your store is messy and unorganized, how would you even know if something was missing? A thief thinks, “Nobody will even know this is missing.”


  1. Build Relationships with Customers and Employees

The more you know your customers, the less likely they will consider stealing from you.


  1. Involve the Police

It may seem like overkill to call the police for someone taking a $5 item, but it’s good to set precedent. Thieves talk. Let it be known in their circles that your retail store is tough on shoplifters.


  1. Put Your Check Out by The Exit

The location of your POS check out is key. If it’s in front of the store, it’s easy for cashiers to greet customers and watch as they leave the store.


  1. Monitor Dressing Rooms

One of the easiest places to steal is the dressing room, but you can deter that by placing an employee in that area to monitor what is brought in and out of the dressing room.


  1. Check Receipts

Place an employee at your doorway checking receipts. You’ll find this strategy in use at Walmart, and it works. If people know their receipts and bags will be checked upon leaving the store, they are less likely to shoplift.


Call PtechPOS for more details about how a POS system can help reduce retail shoplifting and more.