Small Business Protection: How To Keep Your Seasonal Items Safe During The Holidays

If you lost seasonal merchandise last year to theft, you may want to implement better security measures in your small retail store this year. The loss of seasonal merchandise can dramatically affect your holiday income, especially if customers change pricing tags or steal expensive items.  Here are two things you can do to protect your store's holiday merchandise now and in the future.

Implement Theft Control Training with Your Employees

Even if you train your employees to recognize signs of theft in the store when you first hire them, it's a good idea to implement holiday theft training as well. Training may help:

Prevent the Practice of Switching Tags

Holiday theft training teaches your staff how to recognize customers who change or switch price tags on seasonal gifts. Although not all customers do this, some may remove the tags of lower priced items and place them on the more expensive gifts they want to buy. As a result, you lose money on items other customers don't mind paying higher prices for during the holidays.

In order to make it easier for your employees to recognize switched tags, you can do the following things:

  • Place images of higher priced or expensive items at every register: Employees may refer to these images when they question gifts that appear more expensive than the price tag suggests. You can place the images in a catalog-style book to help make the process simpler.
  • Show employees the expensive items: It may be a good idea to walk your employees around the store and point out the expensive holiday items and their prices. This action may eliminate the need to call you to the register to verify that the items have the correct tags.
  • Position your long-time employees throughout the store: Customers who switch tags may avoid employees they know or see all the time because the employees may recognize their faces or names. You may want to position long-time employees in valuable sections like electronics and jewelry.

Keep in mind that switching tags on store merchandise is similar to shoplifting, which is a crime. If you catch customers switching tags on your items, you may file a complaint and report with your local law enforcement agency.

Stop the Practice of Stealing Items

Staff members who recognize holiday theft may help prevent the practice of stealing. Stealing doesn't give you any type of profit on your holiday items. Instead, it may decrease your entire income for the season. In addition, you may need to:

  • Write them off as store losses
  • File insurance claims to compensate for the losses
  • Sell as many other items as possible to make up for the losses

There's one more thing you can do to prevent theft and holiday losses in your small retail store. You can install commercial-grade security cameras in your store.

Install Security Cameras in Unexpected Places

A commercial locksmith may offer the latest security cameras for your retail store. The cameras can take and record activity in the front, center and back of the store, but you need to think out of the box to catch theft in areas the cameras can't see. Here's what you do:

  • Face cameras toward the sides of the store – Try to angle the cameras toward any side doors and tightly packed clothing racks and displays.
  • Place cameras near the smallest displays: This may include displays for gift cards, batteries and children's novelty toys.
  • Aim cameras toward the aisles that lead to the registers: Small items like candy, gum and even holiday magazines can quickly disappear without the right protection.

For your expensive items, try to place them in the center of the store. The cameras can pick up any activities like changing tags or stealing better in this location.

If you have concerns about holiday theft, changing tags or installing security cameras, consult with your commercial locksmith for information and services. Continue to read more.