Online retail has raised operating expenses and lowered margins. So safeguarding against Christmas shoplifting is crucial, says Checkpoint Systems.
The retail inventory management specialist – which describes itself as “Australia’s leading expert in the manufacture and supply of retail loss prevention and merchandise management solutions” – is warning retailers to prepare for the seasonal spike in shoplifting this Christmas.
General Manager of Checkpoint Sales and Operations Nick Trudgett said, “Christmas is both the best and worst time of the year for retailers.
“On average, most retailers will generate nearly 30 per cent of their year’s annual sales during the Christmas period. But they’ll also suffer 35 per cent of their annual losses due to theft, loss and administrative errors.
“With online retail sales continuing to grow, it’s more important than ever for retailers to protect their businesses across physical stores, as operating expenses are a lot higher and margins are lower.
“Failing to manage and minimise theft and loss during the Christmas period can virtually destroy a business’s profit potential.”
According to Checkpoint Systems, analysis has shown that the most stolen items during the Christmas period are those that are:
- Easily concealed – such as batteries, razors and small technology items.
- Easily removed from packaging – such as skincare, cosmetics and perfumes.
- Needed for entertaining during the holidays – such as gourmet meat, seafood and alcohol.
- Bought as gifts – such as branded toys and beauty gift sets.
“Traditionally, retailers would conceal anti-theft tags on their products,” Mr Trudgett said. “Now, behavioural feedback and statistics support the need for ‘visual deterrence’ in loss prevention. Visual tags are proving to be a better deterrent against opportunistic crime.
“Along with tagging items, we also recommend that stores ensure the floor is appropriately staffed. Store personnel need to greet and make eye contact with every customer that comes into store. This, along with visibly tagged products, will put off potential opportunistic shoplifters.”
Mr Trudgett says retailers should make sure they have measures in place as Christmas approaches.
“Retailers need to evaluate their security solutions in technology and human form as a matter of urgency,” he said.