Black Friday Best Practice: How to Catch Shoplifters This Holiday Season

With Black Friday just a couple of weeks away, every retailer is anticipating the day after Thanksgiving with a lot of hope and a little bit of dread – hope because the day is one of the biggest selling opportunities of the year, and dread because shoplifters will be out in force as well as valued customers.

With that last bit in mind, we thought we’d give you a few tips on how to catch or at least dissuade shoplifters from preying on your business this Black Friday.

Improve Employee Engagement

Simply put, shoplifters hate being noticed. Greeting every customer as he or she enters the store is not only good customer service but also puts shoplifters on notice that they have been seen. For the best effect, all of your employees should continually engage shoppers no matter how long they have been in the store.

Take a Fresh Look at the Layout

Working day after day at the same location can give a store owner or manager a false sense of security when it comes to layout. It is imperative that you throw away your blinders and take a brand new look at the store from a theft perspective. This process will help eliminate any spots where shoplifters can practice their craft.

Woman paying at cash register

Install Security Cameras

Another prime tool against shoplifting is the security camera – hidden ones work well but visible ones can be doubly effective.

While covert cameras are especially useful for catching shoplifters in hard-to-see areas, visible surveillance cameras capture thieves in the act and make a statement to customers and employees alike that the owner or manager is watching for unlawful activity.

Place the Cash Register Near the Exit

While many boutiques and other high end-retailers like to keep the front of their location available for display space, more pragmatic retailers understand that this technique creates an opportunity for shoplifters.

Instead, they opt to place their cash registers and watchful cashiers near the door, establishing another barricade against thieves and an additional level of security.

Keep High-End Items Under Lock and Key

Whether a store stocks mobile phones, jewelry, or perfume, keep expensive items under lock and key unless being personally overseen by a trusted employee.

Restrict Access

On a similar but more substantial level, it is important for businesses to control access to their most sensitive areas. Shoplifting is often a crime of opportunity, especially if money or other valuables are left unguarded in an area thought secure, such as the office or counting room.

The use of self-locking doors with electronic password protection is just one of the many ways to ensure that only authorized persons can enter restricted areas.

For more information on these and other business security tips for Black Friday and every other day of the year, check out our resource section.