6 tips to prevent shoplifting in your store

Shoplifting is unfortunately a common problem faced by all retailers.  If you are one of the many trying to tackle this challenge, this post is especially for you.

We don’t think retail theft should be allowed to rob you of your profits.  That’s why we’ve put together 6 tips to try and help you improve the security of your shop, and minimise loss through theft.  Read on…


  1. Learn to spot a shoplifter

One of the most crucial ways to prevent shoplifting is to recognise suspicious activity and potential shoplifters.  Employees need to watch for customers who:

  • Avoid eye contact
  • Appear nervous
  • Wander the store repeatedly browsing – picking up and putting back the same items
  • Leave the store and return repeatedly
  • Linger in a location that is difficult to see or monitor
  • Pay little attention to the products on the shelves, but constantly keep an eye on store employees and other customers
  • Are carrying large bags or wearing clothing not appropriate for the weather which may be used to conceal goods


  1. Greet people entering your store

By welcoming genuine shoppers you will not only create a positive impression of your store, but you will also deter anyone thinking of shoplifting; an offender is less likely to shoplift if they sense they are going to be seen and noticed by the staff.


  1. Use disruption tactics

If someone is behaving oddly or suspiciously, approach and offer assistance, asking if they need any help with their purchase.

Other disruption tactics include rearranging stock or tidying shelves in the same aisle, combined with a greeting.


  1. Use signage

Make it clear that shoplifting will not be tolerated by displaying signs by entrance doors.


  1. Install CCTV

While this is certainly not the cheapest option, it is a very effective deterrent.  If you are able to install CCTV, make sure you display signs about this and monitor it regularly, at least during peak store times.

As a guide, CCTV should cover entrances and exits (capturing images which can be used to identify persons entering and leaving the store).  It should also cover high value and targeted stock.


  1. Rethink your store Layout

Store layout should be designed to ensure that there are limited or no blind spots in the store – the ability of your staff to supervise shoppers is reduced by numerous exits, blind corners, hidden alcoves and high displays.  Store surveillance can be increased through the use of mirrors to cover blind spots.

In addition, you should ensure that particularly high value and desirable goods are positioned away from the entrances and exits.


Disclaimer: These tips are recommended by Hampden Supply Co. as reasonable methods to prevent shoplifting in your store.  There is no guarantee that theft in your store will be completely stopped, and Hampdens is not held liable for any occurrences of theft.  However, we do believe shoplifting in your store can be significantly reduced!