Protecting your store against theft is difficult. Education and awareness of staff are significant for the success but is not enough. Investments in anti-theft devices are also necessary. If you want to get fast results and get your investment back in a reasonable amount of time, you should invest in equipment that will protect the most theft-prone goods.
Grocery stores and supermarkets have the highest shrinkage
All retailers have to deal with inventory losses and decreased revenues due to shrinkage. Supermarkets and grocery stores are those who lose the highest percentage of sales to shrinkage. Shoplifting and employee theft accounts for 77% of the total shrinkage worldwide. Meat, cheese and alcohol are on the top of the most stolen merchandises in the food and beverage category. But every supermarket also has small and premium merchandise in its product selection that thieves like to steal.
The black market wants razors, non-prescription drugs and tobacco
Shoplifting is a much larger industry than you might think, with many shoplifters selling their products to other companies that then resell the items at discounted prices. Organised thieves are looking for products that are pocket-sized, reasonably costly and can be sold for near-retail prices.
The most stolen items are small premium price products like razors, tobacco, non-prescription drugs, batteries, mobile accessories, and makeup – products that are easy to conceal and are easy to re-sell. Razors and razor blades have been the most stolen product category worldwide for many years – especially the brand-name varieties. It is estimated that razor blades have a shrinkage rate of approximately 2,7% of their revenue.
The shoplifters pick face creams, condoms and pregnancy tests
While there are professional criminals who steal and resell goods on the black market, ordinary people – including juveniles, housewives and even grandparents – also shoplift. There is said that 90 % of us have shoplifted at least once in our lives. The shoplifters steal tiny things such as lipstick or tobacco. Other items like pregnancy tests, condoms and weight-loss pills are often stolen because people are embarrassed to purchase them.
Employee theft of these kinds of small and pricey items often occurs in so-called sweet hearting; wich means when an employee will let a friend leave with the items without paying for them.
Vending machines protect small premium products
Massive losses due to shoplifting of expensive items force many retailers to remove them from their shelves and stop selling them. But instead of stopping to sell them retailers could use one of the lock-in solutions on the market.
Since most of the theft-prone goods are small premium products, the best-spent money on loss prevention is to focus on those products that are the most vulnerable to shrinkage. Bigger products like meat, cheese and alcohol can more be protected by the sales staff on the sales floor while these small but pricey items are harder to monitor.
Selling the small premium products through automatic vending machines located behind the checkout area can result in a good anti-theft protection. These machines can store many different products and the merchandise is always paid for in advance. These systems also lead to better inventory control.
A bonus with this solution is that it can also increase the sales of premium goods. Indeed a smart and reliable way to stop the thieves.