Five Tips to Reduce Grocery Store Shoplifting

From a business standpoint, grocery stores have a lot going for them—they are busy, active environments with a steady stream of customers. These same positive aspects can also leave grocery stores vulnerable to shoplifting—whether it’s the discreet kind or the quick “grab and go.”

According to Business Insurance Quotes, higher-end cuts of meat are the number one item stolen by grocery store shoplifters followed by razors, baby formula, cosmetics, alcohol and over-the-counter drugs. Except for perishable meat, the rest are attractive to thieves because they can be resold online or on the black market.

Here are five tips to combat shoplifting.

Review Store Layout. Put targeted items away from exits. Having the alcohol aisle by the door may be convenient for all those game-day customers who just want to pick up a six-pack, pay and leave, but it also makes an easy in-an-out item to steal.

Place Items in Plain View. The typical supermarket has over 39,000 items according to Source Marketing Institute. It’s tempting to cram large displays filled with merchandise in and around aisles and near store entrances to entice customers to buy. However, by doing so, thieves can “hide” among the merchandise and quickly drop an item into a purse or pocket. Leave plenty of space around displays so customer interaction is easily viewed.

Show Off Security Cameras, Lock Up Tempting Items. Don’t attempt to hide security cameras. Let customers know they are being watched. Place frequently stolen items in locked cabinets or at the customer service desk.

Train Employees to be Watchful. With the new California bag law, thieves may try to hide items in unused bags brought from home. Require that all shopping bags be placed on the checkout counter before items are scanned.

Place a Security Guard in Your Store. A security guard can canvas the store and monitor the entrances/exits and aisles where theft is most likely to occur. Create a communication system where employees can quickly notify the guard of any suspicious activity.

According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, there are about 550,000 shoplifting incidents per day accounting for $35 million in daily losses. Grocery stores cannot expect to stop all shoplifting but the measures suggested above can at least help make a dent.