When it comes to shoplifting and retail loss prevention, good store layout is just as important as the growing array of tools, technology and electronic article surveillance available.
In fact, good store design and advanced theft prevention strategies like EAS often work hand in hand, allowing retailers to fight shoplifting using a multi-pronged approach.
From lighting to display positioning and clothing racks, here’s an insight into the role good design plays in loss prevention.
Clean, clear, uncluttered
A store that is well laid out, clean, clear and uncluttered creates a more welcoming and enticing venue for shoppers while offering staff better vantage points to see what’s happening on the floor.
For retailers, that means keeping in mind the height of their shelving, where they position displays and how they showcase valuable stock.
Where possible stock should be kept organised, neatly folded and clearly visible. Aisles should be free of obstructions and high-value item should be secured using either locked and tethered displays or EAS tagging in an area visible from the POS.
These simple design principles are for the benefit of both the consumer and loss prevention, allowing customers to readily see and find the items that are available, while store associates can easily monitor the stock in their care.
Not only does good lighting create a welcoming ambience and mood within a store, it also serves to highlight the appeal of products and assist with theft prevention.
Retailers who have good lighting throughout their store are less prone to theft because there’s fewer dark places for thieves to feel comfortable.
Importantly, good lighting also allows legitimate customers to find items more readily and feel more at ease, in the knowledge they are safe and secure within that environment.
Shelving, racks, and layout
The fit out of a store, including its shelving, helps set the tone for an entire brand. It also draws the customer’s attention to the most important items on display.
These days, the options for fit out are endless, allowing retailers to be more and more creative with the look and feel of their brand.
Within shelving and fit out there is also the opportunity to increase security and offer customer appeal.
In many cases, this is where secure displays come into play, allowing retailers to showcase valuable items behind glass or using tethered displays that enable consumers to interact with products.
Even something as simple as where you position specific products can have a bearing on loss prevention.
For example, sales racks or tables positioned too close to doorways can make items a potential target of snatch and grab theft.
Meanwhile, high value items should be visible to shoppers yet positioned near the POS or where staff can monitor customer interaction.
In addition, high-value items should be displayed in a place where a shoplifter would feel highly visible leaving with that item or must make their way past a number of staff members and security in order to commit a theft.
Theft prevention tools
Working hand in hand with good store layout are invaluable tools like electronic article surveillance and CCTV.
Again, these items should be factored into the store’s design and general appeal.
For example, the antenna that monitor security tags and labels can now be built into the doorway, hidden under the entryway floor or housed overhead, allowing the store entry to remain secure yet feel open and welcoming.
Security tags and labels do not have to bulky or overly conspicuous, but instead come in sizes that are large enough to indicate an item is being monitored but small enough not to interfere with the experience of the product.
Tags and labels can also be positioned neatly in the same spot on each product to create a uniform and streamlined look.
Meanwhile, any tags and labels should be selected to suit the product involved. That means considering what label or tag best reflects the value and intended customer experience of the product and applying this security without overkill.
Similarly, CCTV should be obvious enough to deter thieves, but not so cumbersome and prominent to make legitimate customer feel watched.
A balance in the beauty
It’s often said that retail loss prevention is a balancing act. And in some ways it is. More often, however preventing shoplifting is a combination of good store design, appropriate adoption of technology and constant vigilance and staff education on behalf of the retailer.