The holiday season has begun! The biggest shopping time of the year is upon us…and sadly it’s also the biggest time for shoplifting.

“Retailers like to call the holiday season the Super Bowl of shopping. Shoplifters feel the same way,” Fortune magazine wrote last year. “The holiday season…generates 34% of annual sales for retailers, but 37% of their annual “shrinkage,” which is inventory loss for whatever reason—from supply chain inefficiency to employee theft to shoplifting.”

As the article noted, the holidays are also the easiest time for shoplifters to rationalize their actions, possibly thinking they need to steal gifts for others. The article went on to note the top 10 things shoplifters usually target – two of the top three dealing with electronics. So how can retailers better protect their stores during the holidays?

Have your Tulsa or OKC security company double-check your security systems.

This is no time to assume that everything about your security system is working great. The security professionals at Mac Security in both Tulsa and OKC will be happy to come out to make sure your security system is up-to-date and that all your surveillance cameras are in the optimal position and are working properly.security systems tulsa

Let your alarm monitoring company know your holiday store hours and make sure they know who to contact if there is a security breach or alarm issue.

Installing motion lights outside your building will help deter criminals and help employees who are working late feel safer.

Make sure your store stays organized and shoplifter resistant.

There are numerous practical steps you can take to help deter shoplifters. Having specific employees assigned to keep your store well-organized will make it harder for shoplifters to go unnoticed and easier for employees to see all areas of the store and what looks suspicious.

Although holiday decorations can make your store look inviting and festive, if not hung properly, they can also block the view of security cameras as well as the view employees have of the store entrance.

Keep more expensive items locked in display cases.

Make sure displays are positioned so that employees can see as much of the merchandise as possible from a variety of areas.

Train even temporary employees well.  

Training all employees, even seasonal employees, to watch for suspicious activity can go a long way to preventing shoplifting. A large part of this training simply involves teaching good customer service skills. Greeting every customer, asking if they need help, and if they are ready to check-out can deter shoplifters and can create a positive customer service experience at the same time.

Train employees to double-check merchandise during check-out for hidden items. Have an employee at every dressing room entrance to limit and check the number of items taken in to the dressing rooms.

Ensure that employees know how to handle any shoplifting occurrences and issues so that they react appropriately and safely.

Be wary of employee theft.

Sadly, employee theft is a major cause of shrinkage for retail stores today. Have management be on the lookout for signs of employee theft such as employees keeping a calculator or a separate receipt book next to the cash drawer, preferring to work by themselves much of the time, or spending an inordinate amount of time in the stockroom.

Making unannounced, random visits to your stores, including random register checks, can also help deter employee theft. Make sure deposits are made on a regular basis and that cash-to-credit purchase ratios are correct.

Mac SecurityInstalling an access control system that limits the areas employees, especially seasonal employees, can enter, such as areas that their specific job doesn’t require access to, can help to prevent employee theft.

To ensure you don’t get taken advantage of by shoplifters this holiday season, call the security experts at Mac Security in both Tulsa and OKC. We can make sure there are no weak areas in your security system and that could leave you vulnerable to theft.