As owners of your own optical shops, we can only imagine how concerned you must be over shoplifting on a daily basis. As leaders in Space Planning for the Optical industry, Frame Displays designs all of our client’s retail stores with shoplifting and theft minimization in mind. If you are a store owner you should know theft basics such as that Wednesdays through Saturdays are the most common days that thefts occur. Summertime is also a more common time for shoplifting.
Stocking up on product is a considerable investment, which means you should be taking the right precautions when it comes to securing your optical retail store. The sad reality is that shoplifters and thieves are aware that small businesses are easier targets as national chains tend to have the funds to secure their stores in every way necessary. This makes your optical retail store a thief’s ideal target.
Here are steps you can take now to make your store more theft resistant:
1. Start with Your Customers
Your customers are less likely to steal from you if you build a strong relationship with them. Another smart approach is to have those working your retail floors to introduce themselves and ask for your customer’s names. Most of the time customers will not use a pseudonym, so if your employees learn names, your potential thieves become more easily identifiable; therefore, less likely to steal. Building a strong relationship goes beyond curbing customers from stealing from you. It also creates an environment in which well-known customers will be more comfortable reporting suspicious behaviors or activities within your optical store.
Avoid profiling those that walk through your doors. A study from the University of Florida shows that stereotypes are almost always false. It is thought that women are more likely to steal. False. It is thought that teens and young adults are more likely to steal. Also false. In fact, employed middle-aged males are most likely to shoplift than any other demographic. That said, treat all of your customers with respect as it’s more likely they will return the favor or feel guilt when they consider performing a slight-of-hand.
2. Identify Potential Threats
We know we just told you to avoid profiling customers; however, if you are suspicious of a customer’s behavior, look out for the following signs: oversized clothing (which makes products easier to conceal); those that spend more time than necessary in a single part of the store (perhaps waiting for the right opportunity to swipe your product); those that carry large bags or backpacks that are slightly left ajar; those that turn to your employees often to see if they’re watching them (this is best handled by asking your employees to approach the customer and ask for assistance). There are many signs to look out for that you should familiarize yourself with.
3. Store Design
Designing your optical retail space in a smart and intentional manner can help prevent theft almost entirely. Big, open spaces work well so your employees can identify customers’ actions. Keep your smaller, easier-to-swipe products toward the back of the store while keeping your heavier and bulkier items toward the front. Utilize mirrors to your advantage, especially in spaces that are particularly hard to see. Curved mirrors positioned near the ceiling provide a wider view of your optical store.
We hope these tips are helpful in creating a theft-free optical store. Unsure if your optical store is designed with security in mind? Contact us for a free consultation! Have helpful tips for your fellow Optical Retailer owners that you don’t see above? Message us on Facebook here. Also, be sure to look out for part 2 of our shoplifting prevention tips in the coming weeks.