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4 Proven Ways to Improve Retail Security

July 10, 2021

According to Hayes International’s 32nd Annual Retail Theft Survey, there are up to 1 million shoplifting incidents happening around the world each day. In fact, loss prevention professionals have determined that shoplifting is the biggest reason behind retail shrinkage, or the loss of products due to theft, damage or administrative error.

Although shoplifting poses a very real threat to retailers’ bottom lines, it can be mitigated. As the retail industry has adopted new technology in multiple areas, retail security has evolved as well. For example, retail security tags like RFID and EAS tags have become a popular, affordable solution for retailers that sell all kinds of merchandise, from apparel and electronics to grocery and cosmetics.

However, combatting shoplifting is easier said than done. To transform your retail security strategy to reduce or even eliminate theft, you must actively protect your merchandise from both loss and human error, like miscounted inventory. Below are 4 proven ways to improve your retail security:

Secure Merchandise With Retail Security Tags

One of the most reliable methods of deterring and preventing theft is to use retail security tags, like EAS and RFID tags. Retail security tags are typically hard, lightweight, reusable tags that are attached to a product with a pin or cable. These tags can be purchased from a retail security company, which can develop a customized retail security solution for your business.

While different retail security technologies exist, the process is similar between RFID and EAS tags:

  • Install a retail security system, like EAS pedestals or an RFID reader, at the store entrance
  • Attach EAS tags or RFID tags to all products and make sure they are active
  • When a customer purchases an item, deactivate and remove all retail security tags

A retail security system is designed to detect active tags within range, so if someone tries to take an item without paying (and having its tag properly deactivated and removed at checkout), the system will detect the active tag and trigger an alarm, alerting staff of possible theft.

Invest in Training Your Staff

While retail security technology has played a major role in improving loss prevention programs over the past few decades, the human element is just as important. Only three percent of thieves are “professionals,” so most shoplifters don’t actually have a plan in mind when they decide to steal. This means they often display unusual or suspicious behavior, like loitering in fitting rooms or low-visibility areas, that can be easily identified with proper training.

Teaching store associates how to spot shoplifting is a simple but effective way to improve your retail security. To develop a training program for your business, consider the unique variables of your store, such as the type of merchandise you sell, so you can address any specific shoplifting concerns. For example, an apparel retailer might decide to ensure enough staff in fitting rooms, which is a shoplifting hot spot in many retail stores.

By training your staff to identify unusual behaviors, you are showing your staff that shoplifting is taken very seriously. This has the added bonus of deterring internal theft from employees, which makes up another significant portion of all retail shrink.

Use Tamper Evident Cash Bags to Transport Cash

Retail security isn’t limited to protecting just your merchandise. Retailers must also consider how to securely store and transport cash. Although many consumers have started using cashless payment options like debit and credit cards to make purchases, cash remains the most popular payment method for purchases under $25, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Most, if not all, retailers accept and process cash every day, so how are they safely transporting their money? Most retailers use tamper-evident bags designed specifically for retail cash security. These tamper-evident cash bags are typically made of lightweight but durable plastic that can safely move cash without bursting.

Tamper evident cash bags use multiple types of tamper-evident security features that show if a cash bag has been opened ahead of time or tampered with in another way. For example, most tamper-evident bags use void messages to indicate potential tampering, whether someone opened the bag seal or tried to defeat the bag with more covert methods.

At CONTROLTEK, we designed our tamper-evident cash bags to provide reliable tamper-evident protection for retailers’ cash stores. Our tamper-evident bags are constructed of a high-quality resin that makes our bags lightweight and able to withstand heavy contents, including up to 100 pounds of coins! With over 40 years of experience in protecting cash and other assets, CONTROLTEK is a retail security company prepared to collaborate with retailers to find security solutions that fit their needs, from retail security tags to tamper-evident bags.

Closely Monitor Your Store Inventory

Like almost every industry, retail employees are responsible for a huge range of tasks, from personalized customer service to asset tracking and inventory management. However, people are also likely to make mistakes, which means your inventory control system could be compromised by human error.

As mentioned earlier, administrative error is one of the main causes of retail shrink. When a retailer calculates their shrinkage rate every year, they divide the total value of their inventory by the combined value of lost, stolen, missing or damaged merchandise. But if these numbers aren’t correct, that could lead to an inaccurate result, making it seem like shrink is higher than it is or like they have more items in stock than they really do.

Many retailers have started implementing RFID as an inventory management solution. Because RFID readers can detect multiple RFID tags at once, an RFID system can automate the inventory process, eliminating the need for manually scanning product barcodes to track inventory. Automating inventory management with RFID enables retailers to track their inventory in real time, which results in more accurate inventory data and more time saved.

In addition to helping retailers to avoid running out of stock or ordering too much, monitoring your store inventory can also allow retailers to detect potential instances of theft as early as possible. If a retailer only does a full inventory check once a month or more, then this allows shoplifters to get away; by the time anyone realizes, the thief will be long gone.

By taking control of your inventory management, you will gain better insight into the flow of your retail store, from the stockroom to the store floor, enabling you to make smarter stocking decisions.

Partner With CONTROLTEK to Transform Your Retail Security

If you’re looking to improve your retail security, then partnering with a retail security company like CONTROLTEK can help you get started.

At CONTROLTEK, we offer a wide selection of retail security solutions, from retail security tags like EAS and RFID tags to tamper-evident cash bags designed for the retail environment. To help you find the ROI that you expect, we also offer ROI analysis, documentation and associate training, and our team can work directly with your IT department to ensure compliance with your organization’s policies and procedures.

To learn more about how we can transform your retail security, contact us today.