To prevent shoplifting, most store owners invest in CCTV cameras, security tags and alarm systems. While these are all good ways of deterring shoplifters, there is another retail security feature that is easy to overlook: store layout. With a professional retail fitout, you’ll be able to set up your shop in a way that enables you to keep track of any suspicious activity within your store. With the right store fit-out, you might even be able to discourage shoplifters from attempting to steal in the first place.
A good store layout should be able to accommodate theft prevention strategies while also improving the shopping experience for legitimate customers.
So let’s have a look at how you can achieve this balance by going over four ways you can prevent shoplifting through strategic shopfitting.
- Keep your store clean and uncluttere
If your store is clean and uncluttered, it will be a lot easier for you and your colleagues to keep an eye on the store. If you have empty boxes stacked up on the floor and clothing racks that aren’t set up properly, it will be very difficult for you to keep track of your inventory and survey the entire store from the checkout counter.
Because of this, you need to make sure that the store aisles are properly set up and are clear of obstructions. This will make the shopping experience easier for legitimate customers and possibly discourage shoplifters from stealing out in the open.
Another thing to consider is the height of the shelves. You want the shelves to be just below the average customer’s height so that you can keep an eye on the shoppers as they walk around the store. Of course, you don’t want to invade their privacy. You just want the shelf low enough so that you can see any suspicious activity or to see if a particular customer needs help.
- Use bright lights
Shoplifters want to stay out of the limelight as much as possible. They don’t want any interactions and they certainly don’t want any eyes watching them. With this mind, it’s a good idea to have ample lighting in all corners of your store. Bright lights will make shoplifters feel like they’re being scrutinised. This, in turn, will make them less willing to take risks. With proper lighting, even if you’re not able to see the shoplifters, the other customers or bystanders might be able to catch them in the act.
Of course, a good lighting setup also creates an exciting and bright shopping environment for legitimate customers. It’s a great way to attract potential buyers by accentuating the aesthetics of your store and your products. Lighting is undoubtedly a crucial aspect of successful visual merchandising.
- Use secure product displays
The way you showcase your products has a profound impact on sales as well as the overall customer experience. What you may not be aware of is that it also has an effect on the security of the items.
If you walk into any store, you’ll notice that the most expensive items are either on high shelves or in locked display cases. In some instances, the high-value items might even be in a glass case behind the counter. By keeping the high-value items away from the hands of the customers, you lower the risk of the items being shoplifted.
But what if legitimate customers want to interact with the items? When it comes to products like smart phones and headphones, it’s important for the customers to be able to try before they buy. In this case, you may want to tether display products to a shelf so that customers can interact with them without being able to physically detach them from the display.
- Manage your entry points
If you’re able to keep an eye on your entry and exit points, you’ll be able to discourage a lot of shoplifters from even attempting to steal from your store.
One of the first things you should consider is the placement of your POS (point of sale). Your POS should be near the entrance so that you can visually keep track of the flow of customers. If you’re not able to keep an eye on the entrance at all times, you can also install a bell chime that will alert you if someone enters or exits the store.
It’s also a good idea to try and keep items away from the exit points. If a shoplifter needs to walk all the way into the store to steal something, there’s a high chance that they will get caught on their way out. Additionally, keeping products away from the exit will prevent snatch and grabs.
That said, you don’t want to lose customers by having all your items in the back of the shop. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to have items displayed at the entrance to entice customers to shop at your store. To do this without risking your products, you can display low-value items at the front.
For example, video game retailers often display empty cases of games just outside the store. This way, the customers will be able to browse the available games and the shoplifters won’t be able to steal anything of value.
As you can see, there are so many different ways to use your store layout to your advantage. Talk to a fit-out specialist today to find out how you can make your store more secure and less vulnerable to shoplifting and other forms of theft.