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When Dealing with Shoplifting, Safety Is Always Our First Option

There are thousands of stories dealing with shoplifting that appear every week across digital media in a continuous stream of petty crimes and tragic events. We learn of shoplifters stealing to support drug habits. We hear of parents shoplifting with their children. We roll our eyes at the bizarre and ridiculous shoplifters and their creative pilferage. We cringe at shoplifter confrontations gone wrong and people getting hurt.

From a loss prevention perspective, shrink reduction and profit enhancement require a comprehensive management strategy that fits all of the needs and interests of a particular retail organization. It is monumentally more complicated than stopping a shoplifter in a store. But shoplifting concerns are still front and center in many ways

Despite the daily reminders and disastrous choices of the lawfully challenged, we’ve made tremendous strides in our approach to shoplifting incidents. We have the “five steps” of the apprehension process. We preach behavior-based shoplifter surveillance techniques. We lecture on shoplifter approach and detainment. We prohibit shoplifter pursuit. We demand appropriate training and awareness programs. We lecture on the importance of good customer service. Each step leads us in the right direction—strategically moving forward toward the right goals: safety, control, protection, and profitability.

Employees must remain productive, and the company must remain profitable; and customer service is a time-proven approach to these goals. Customer service also remains our weapon of choice against shoplifting in the stores. Attentive employees armed with service and a smile will disarm most potential shoplifters and even carry the opportunity to turn a prospective shoplifter into a customer sale. A proactive approach should remain a first option, offering appropriate attention both on the selling floor and at the register area.

- Digital Partner -

Still there are a number of things that LP and operations staff needs to be familiar with regarding shoplifting behaviors. To read a review of shoplifter surveillance techniques, the five steps to making shoplifter apprehension, use of force, and other fundamental procedures for keeping customers, employees, and offenders safe, read the full article here.

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