Do you know what theft is costing your store?

According to many studies, it’s probably more than you think.

The National Retail Federation said store theft, fraud, and other types of loss — collectively known as “shrink” — totaled $61.7 billion in 2019, which was $11 billion more than the estimated figures for 2018.

Small, easily concealed items can be especially attractive to thieves, since they can be quickly slipped into a coat or pants pocket.

Fortunately, there are many things store owners can do to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of retail theft. Here are five simple ways to fight back.

  • Get organized. A clean, uncluttered store is less enticing to shoplifters and easier to keep an eye on. Ensure shelves are organized so that you’ll quickly notice if anything is missing.
  • Keep merchandise within your line of sight. For small items like 5-hour ENERGY®, keeping them on the counter and close to the register not only encourages impulse sales, it also allows you to keep an eye on stock, discouraging theft.
  • Develop a positive workplace atmosphere. Frequently praise your employees’ good work. Employees are less likely to steal when they feel valued. Consider offering a discount on employee purchases to create even more goodwill.
  • Train employees to spot potential shoplifters. Watch for customers wearing unusually bulky clothing (a heavy coat during warm weather) or a large group standing unnaturally close together.
  • Promptly greet every customer. Making verbal and eye contact lets would-be shoplifters know that store staff is watching.

Hopefully these tips will help you “shrink” the chances of becoming a victim of theft.