When you’ve invested a lot of money and time into your retail store and something is stolen, it can feel personal. Your products are your profit, and you want to protect them as best you can.
Depending on your product mix and store layout, a variety of tools and practices can help keep your inventory safe and secure. Take a look at these top five inventory security investments:
- Security Tags: According to the 2011 Global Retail Theft Barometer, clothing or apparel stores have the highest rates of shrinkage in the retail industry. For such stores, investing in item-level inventory security can help reduce the risk, and security tags are a great option. They affix to individual items and often sync with sensor towers placed at the store exits. If a shopper leaves the store with the tag attached, the alarm is triggered. Some security tags contain ink, and they explode and ruin the clothing if a customer tampers with them. Tags, which come in many variations, can only be removed or deactivated with a special magnetic device that employees can keep at the register.
- Cable Locks: Store owners who offer expensive clothing or handbags should consider using inventory security hardware, like cable locks, which secure items to the rack or hanger. This way, customers must seek a staff member to access the product. Cable locks are best used to protect your valuable items from grab-and-go shoplifters.
- Locked Fixtures: If you sell expensive or fragile items, use locked glass display cases or towers on your sales floor to keep the inventory protected. Locked fixtures eliminate the risk of loss if a case is left unmanned while employees are helping customers elsewhere on the sales floor. These fixtures still display your products, so you don’t lose visual merchandising appeal for security.
- Your Backroom: Your backroom can be a great security area for storing extra inventory under lock and key. The less inventory stored on the sales floor, the less opportunity for shoplifters. Additionally, you can set up security mirrors or fake security cameras outside your backroom to deter potential criminals from trying to get in.
- Price Tags: According to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 National Retail Security Survey, administrative error contributes to approximately 12.1 percent of retail shrinkage. While administrative errors don’t generally contribute to loss of merchandise, they do contribute to loss of profit. One of the simplest inventory level security tactics to help counter profit loss from administrative error is to use price tags. Attach price tags to every piece of inventory to reduce the risk of employees guessing incorrect product prices at the register or applying discounts to items when they don’t apply. For a more sophisticated security solution, consider using barcode stickers containing the price on each item. This can even help you manage your inventory stock through your POS system. If you’ve only scanned three items, but your inventory list says you had five in stock, it’s a sure sign something’s gone missing.