One of the most important aspects of controlling theft is by staffing your store correctly and efficiently. Ensuring your store has the proper zone coverage is one of the most important ways to keep theft low or non-existent.
- Always have someone greeting and making sure every single customer walking in knows we know they are there.
- Always have someone working the fitting rooms and following the Dressing Room Policy down to the very last detail – this means using the number system, updating numbers, never leaving the fitting rooms if anyone at all is in them, and checking that the items coming out of the room match the number on their door.
- Always ensure that if there are areas of your store that are shadowy and easy to hide in that there is an associate nearby to patrol this area.
Most importantly, don’t let your employees steal from you and the store. One of the easiest ways to have items stolen out of your store is to assume you can trust everyone on your staff, but these are the ones who can get away with stealing the easiest. They have keys to your store, they may open/close alone, they know all of the best hiding spots, and in general they know what they can and can’t get away with when it comes to stealing.
You must always stay aware of things like, “Hmmm, when I left last night there was a full run of this item and now there are only 4 left.” In that instance, you will check the history of the item to see what your inventory says you should have and then check the transactions to see if they match up. You must stay aware of what’s happening within your store so that you aren’t blind sided with missing 10 items on your spot inventory. Trust us if you are missing that many items Home Office will question your ability to control shrink within your store, and this is not a position you want to be in as a manager.