How to Prevent Shoplifting with Asset Trackers

How to Prevent Shoplifting with Asset Trackers

Did you know that stores lost an estimated $86.6 billion to retail theft in 2022? That means thousands and millions of products were stolen from retail stores in just a year. CapitalOne predicted that this number could even reach $115 billion in 2025. If you’re in the retail industry yourself, you know how disruptive retail theft or shoplifting can be. Retail stores need to know how to prevent shoplifting. You either tighten security measures or implement innovative technology like asset trackers.


Prevalence of shoplifting
Shoplifting is prevalent among retail stores and the industry as a whole. In fact, it’s considered the most common crime in the United States, with 1 out of 11 Americans being shoplifters. It also contributes to what industry experts call the “retail shrink”. This is a term that refers to all inventory losses in retail, which usually include any damage, administrative errors, negligence, employee theft, and external theft (shoplifting, break-in fraud). Some of the most common reasons why people shoplift or commit retail theft include financial difficulty, mental health conditions, peer pressure, emotional problems, and low risk.


Big hypermarkets, department stores, and grocery stores are some of the most targeted retail stores when it comes to shoplifting. CNBC recently reported that major retailers like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Walgreens have complained about the rise of organized retail theft. This refers to shoplifting that is committed or organized at the level of a criminal gang.


Shoplifting has surged around the world, especially since stores opened again after the lockdown in the pandemic. Recently, the United States and the United Kingdom have expressed concerns about the alarming rise of shoplifting in their countries. UK workers face scary situations because of shoplifting incidents that rose by 25% by June 2023. Meanwhile, some are calling it a “shoplifting epidemic” in the US. It’s safe to say that the amount of stolen goods and profit loss due to shoplifting will only continue to grow.


Effects or problems caused by shoplifting
Shoplifting can pose several challenges for retail businesses, of course. This serious problem can negatively influence the growth and success of a retail store.


Firstly, it directly affects the store's bottom line by causing financial losses. Retailers need to account for these losses. This means that, in turn, it may lead to higher prices for customers to offset the losses. Additionally, increased security measures, such as surveillance systems and security personnel, may be necessary, which adds to the operational costs. Some have also implemented locked cases, where retail staff would unlock and lock a glass case just for customers to get a specific time. Not only does this consume time, but it’s also extra labor.


Frequent shoplifting incidents can also create an uncomfortable and potentially unsafe environment for both customers and employees. The presence of security measures and suspicion can negatively impact the overall shopping experience. Moreover, these repeated incidents of shoplifting may result in increased insurance premiums for the retailer.


Another significant issue is the impact on the store’s inventory management. Consistent theft can distort inventory records, leading to discrepancies between actual stock and recorded stock levels. This can result in challenges in restocking and fulfilling customer demands efficiently.


Admittedly, shoplifting also has a negative effect on employee morale and the overall work culture. Employees might feel anxious at every shift and might need help to create a welcoming environment for the customers. Meanwhile, some may develop an exaggerated suspicion and aggression in order to protect the merchandise. They might also be forced into confrontations for which they are neither ready nor trained, leading to accidents or other dangerous situations.


In some cases, retailers may adopt strict return policies or implement measures that inconvenience honest customers in an attempt to combat shoplifting, affecting customer satisfaction.


Overall, shoplifting can have troublesome effects on a business. Not only does it cause direct financial losses, but it also has broader implications for the overall operation and reputation of a retail business.

Tips to prevent shoplifting in your retail store
Right now, knowing how to prevent shoplifting in your store is crucial. If you’re not actively thinking about or implementing measures that will help prevent shoplifting, you’re putting your business, your staff, and your customers in danger.

Aside from the expected surveillance systems, here are a few tips and ideas for preventing shoplifting:


Tip 1: Install shoplift alarms
Shoplift alarms or anti-theft alarms for retail stores consist of security tags for items, anti-theft antenna, and the detacher or deactivator. In the event that someone tries to leave your store with active tags on the items, the detection system will give off a sound to alert the store to theft. This will allow security to intercept the shoplifter and stop the crime. Of course, the mere sight of these anti-theft alarms and antennas is also enough to prevent shoplifting and ward off criminals.


Tip 2: Hire and train staff
Instead of reducing staff or punishing them for shoplifting incidents, hire and train them. Having visible and attentive staff members on the sales floor can discourage shoplifters. Knowing they are being watched makes them less likely to attempt theft.

Train staff to be vigilant and recognize signs of potential shoplifting. This may include paying attention to behavior, monitoring any fitting rooms, and checking in with customers to offer assistance.


Tip 3: Reorganize your store
Reorganize your store in a way that will help prevent shoplifting. This includes arranging merchandise and displays that will maximize visibility and keeping high-value items within sight of the cash register or surveillance cameras. These will make it harder for shoplifters to find blind spots in your store and prevent them from stealing expensive merchandise.


Tip 4: Install proper lighting
Install and maintain proper lighting both inside and outside the store. Well-lit areas can deter criminal activity and make it easier to identify potential shoplifters. It also creates a safe and comfortable environment both for the customers and the staff.


Tip 5: Use asset trackers like SOLUM Trace
And of course, utilizing asset trackers like SOLUM Trace is also an effective way to prevent shoplifting. This is because SOLUM Trace is an ideal asset-tracking system for all kinds of businesses, including retail.

Powered by Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE), SOLUM Trace tracks an asset’s location, temperature, and status. Once attached or set up, these tags will continuously transmit signals, unlike RFID (radio frequency identification) tags. It also means that it’s compatible with other Bluetooth®-enabled devices. Retail stores can easily use them without the need for massive infrastructure changes. It’s also widely compatible with third-party tools for automation in inspections, maintenance, and other retail operations.

Here are the SOLUM Trace features that can be used to prevent shoplifting or any retail theft at your store:


  • Asset tracking and inventory management
  • Temperature sensor for tracking delicate merchandise like food, produce medicines, etc.
  • Shipping route management to monitor the movement of goods
  • Product authentication to prevent counterfeit products from circulating within the store
  • Versatile tag attachment options for obscure and compact tracking tags
  • Overall, SOLUM Trace can give you all the asset visibility you need in your retail store to discourage and prevent shoplifting. With this, you can ensure the growth of your business and reduce profit losses.


Ready to protect your retail store and make it easier for your staff? Talk to experts from SOLUM Group now and protect your merchandise!


SOLUM Marketing


how to prevent shoplifting, prevent shoplifting
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