Clothing continues to rank as the most shoplifted item in Australia, far outpacing electronics in terms of the volume of theft and percentage of sales lost.
If you’re embracing 2020 with a focus on stemming loss in your fashion store, here are 10 shoplifting prevention tips for clothing retailers.
Shoplifting has and always will be a crime of opportunity, which makes reducing the chance that people have to shoplift imperative for loss prevention.
Eliminating opportunity comes down to knowing exactly where your loss is occurring and taking a critical view of your store as a whole.
- Looking at store layout to reduce areas which are out of view of staff
- Considering lighting to ensure all areas are well lit
- Training your staff in superior customer service and the signs of shoplifting
- Positioning sales tables out of reach of the entryway
- Employing tools such as electronic article surveillance, accompanied by CCTV
Available since the 1960s, electronic article surveillance, comprising security tags or labels and antenna, is the most widely used and effective way of preventing shoplifting in clothing stores.
In the fashion sector, security clothing tags are most frequently used. These affix to a product using a pin and lock into place. Tags then communicate with an EAS antenna, alerting staff when a product passes through the store entryway during an attempted theft.
After implementing an EAS system, retailers can expect an estimated 60-80 per cent decrease in external theft.
Two types available
AM systems operate at 58 kHz, which means a signal is sent out in pulses or bursts between 50 and 90 times a second while (RF) Radio Frequency or RF operates in a sweep at 8.2 MHz.
AM systems are often better suited to clothing retailers due to the antenna’s large detection area and accuracy.
EAS can be subtle
Electronic article surveillance doesn’t need to be obvious unless you want it to be. The antenna can be concealed in doorways, under the floor of a store entryway or even overhead.
This allows clothing retailers to provide a seamless and welcoming entryway that reflects the look and feel of their brand.
Different security tag strengths
Security tags are available with magnetic locking mechanisms that offer different strengths – standard, superlock, hyperlock and multi-polar. The higher the strength the harder it is for criminals to thwart them.
In addition to different strength locking mechanisms, magnet resistant options are also available.
Tags come in a variety of shapes and sizes. This includes pencil-shaped tags, round tags, and square tags. Round tags are considered one of the hardest tags to remove because their circular shape resists being forced open.
One of the latest innovations in security tags is an all-in-one solution known as the Croc Tag. This tag features a receiver in one end, a pin in the other and a hinge in between. It snaps shut to protect apparel and other clothing items like bras.
In addition to different shapes, different sized pinheads are also available to stop thieves forcing the pinhead through a clothing item. Larger pinheads are considered more secure because illicitly removing them involves cutting or ripping an item.
Add benefit denial
Security tags can often be used in conjunction with ink dye. Available as part of the tag or in the pinhead, ink dye is a benefit denial strategy that reduces the likelihood of shoplifters tampering with tags.
Guard the fitting room
The fitting room presents a unique opportunity for shoplifting. Out of sight of staff, it’s a place where shoplifters can potentially tamper with tags and conceal the items they intend to steal.
Fashion retailers can protect this area using technology like the Fitting Room Guard. This EAS tool monitors tags in the change room and alerts staff when tags are tampered with.