As crime in South Africa increases, retail owners continue to experience a significant loss in profits due to shrinkage. Shrinkage, also known as inventory loss, is the difference between the recorded inventory and the actual physical inventory. It can occur due to various reasons, such as theft, shoplifting, or stock taking errors. Regardless of the cause, shrinkage can have a detrimental impact on retail businesses and their bottom line. This article will give tips on how to prevent shrinkage in retail stores. So, if you’re a retail owner or manager read on!


1. Create An Organised Store Layout


A clean and organised store layout where merchandise is displayed neatly not only attracts customers but also deters potential thieves. A cluttered store layout makes it easier for shoplifters to conceal stolen items and can also make it difficult for employees to keep track of inventory. 


2. Install Shoplifting Prevention Systems


There are different shoplifting prevention systems available, each with its own advantages. These systems include EAS systems, RFID Technology and Open Display Security. 


EAS Systems:


Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) involves attaching security tags or labels to merchandise which are deactivated when a purchase is made. If a shoplifter attempts to take out unpaid items through the store’s exit, an alarm will sound, alerting employees to stop and check the person.


RFID Technology:


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology uses RFID tags with RFID chips that transmit radio signals to a receiver, also known as a RFID reader. Each tag is electronically linked to the store’s database, where the details of the merchandise are stored. 

Each RFID tag contains a unique code, which ensures that the item cannot be counted twice. This is one of the best ways to prevent shoplifting and to take effective stock control measures, as this technology helps retail owners to identify when stock goes missing and what items were stolen.

In addition to this, RFID also prevents unpaid items from leaving the store, as the receiver is programmed to sound an alarm if it is detected at the exit without being deactivated.


Open Display Security:


A retail store that sells electronic devices like smartphones and tablets can make use of “open display” security. This simply involves attaching a small device to the item with an electronic wire that links it to the display table.

When the device is tampered with, an alarm will sound. This system is effective in preventing retail theft because it deters potential thieves from even attempting to steal the display merchandise, as they know that once they remove the device, an alarm will sound.


3. Invest In Employee Awareness Training:


Even with the best security systems in place, employee awareness training is crucial in preventing shrinkage in retail stores. Employees should be trained to spot suspicious behaviour and to address it immediately.


Suspicious behaviour can include:


  • Attempting to conceal merchandise.
  • Spending too much time in one area of the store.
  • Trying to avoid being observed by store employees.


Employees should also be trained on handling different kinds of theft situations and what steps they should take in case a theft occurs. This can include remaining calm, notifying security personnel or management, and accurately describing the suspect.


Prevent Retail Shrinkage In Your Store Today!


If you’re a retail owner or manager, take into account these tips on how to prevent retail shrinkage. Remember that prevention is always better than cure. 

Don’t wait for a theft to occur before taking action. Contact us at Milestone today, and we’ll help you implement effective security measures in your store!