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Preventing Shoplifting by Amplifying Risk

What’s the best way to discourage a thief? Retailers regularly take advantage of expert consultants and the latest technological solutions to protect their merchandise. But some of these outside “solutions” don’t solve the problem of retail theft at all. Preventing shoplifting may be as simple as influencing the decision to steal.

In the most recent issue of LP Magazine, Adrian Beck, noted criminology professor at the University of Leicester, presents shoplifting prevention information from a new report developed by the ECR Community’s Shrinkage and On-Shelf Availability Group. The report and corresponding article expand on the idea of risk amplification and how it can be successful in making a potential offender less likely to commit a crime, thereby preventing shoplifting. From the article:

“Interventions must be highly visible if they are to play a role in amplifying risk. There is no point in hiding it away or making it less than obvious to the would-be thief. Modern retail loss prevention should be focused on deterrence not detection. For interventions such as electronic article surveillance (EAS), this means making the presence of the product tag abundantly clear. Hiding it away inside the packaging does not represent a good use of the technology, especially if its presence is not indicated on the packaging. It needs to be very obvious to the would-be thief that a product is protected. And where tags are concerned, either they need to be very visible and obvious what they are, or their presence needs to be very clearly marketed on the product packaging.”

Check out “Amplifying Risk in Retail Stores” to read the full article and learn other ways that retailers can generate visibility for interventions and risk amplifiers. You can also visit the Table of Contents for the July-August 2016 issue or register for a free subscription to the magazine.

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