Increase Sales While Deterring Brazen Shoplifters

Today’s shoplifters are becoming more brazen than in the past, according to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation. This disturbing trend is putting enormous pressure on retailers who want to prevent loss and keep associates safe. Additionally, some of the industry’s most enduring loss prevention strategies have now been rendered less effective.

"Shoplifters are bolder and not afraid of setting off alarms at the door," explained Robb Northrup, siffron’s Director of Marketing. "They know that if they can get to the exit, they are as good as gone."

Because trying to stop theft at the store’s door places employees at substantial risk of harm, retailers have largely resigned themselves to watching thieves—and their merchandise—run off. This feeling of powerlessness is reflected in the results of the 2019 National Retail Security Survey, which found that the average retailer made six times fewer shoplifting stops last year than in 2015.

This problem has left stores searching for answers. "We’ve seen several retailers moving back to locking product away in high-theft stores to stop the flow of merchandise being stolen from those locations," said Northrup. "But that isn’t progress."

While locking away product may cut certain types of shrink, it also cuts into profit—up to 80 percent for some product categories, says Northrup. Limiting access to high-theft products discourages legitimate customers from accessing merchandise, driving lost sales, and frustrating customers.

Understanding customers’ pain points and knowing current trends in store theft, siffron has been moving loss prevention away from the exit door and back into the store. siffron’s LM Tag™ combines a light sensor and a motion detector and alerts store personnel when the product is both in motion and concealed in a bag, under a coat, or in a pocket. Store personnel are directed to the point of concern inside the store, rather than after merchandise has been carried into the parking lot.

"The idea is to simplify the process and initiate notifications at the display level," explained Northrup. "While offenders are more prone to dash once they reach the doors with existing solutions, they still are generally risk-averse. When attention is drawn to them at the display level inside the store -- even with something as simple as a beep upon product -- offenders are more likely to leave that merchandise alone as attention is drawn to them and their activity.”