How much of a problem is shoplifting today?

Microfilmed surveillance systems installed in shop windows can be particularly difficult to detect, say retail specialists. The capability to steal goods while the footage is being viewed by employees has been identified as a…

How much of a problem is shoplifting today?

Microfilmed surveillance systems installed in shop windows can be particularly difficult to detect, say retail specialists.

The capability to steal goods while the footage is being viewed by employees has been identified as a challenge for all retail businesses.

Ian Barnard, head of fraud intelligence at retailer Matalan, says theft is becoming an ever-growing concern for retailers.

“Retail security is becoming more and more of a reality for any business and, as a result, it has become apparent that stolen goods continue to have a significant impact on business and brand values,” he says.

“Whilst there are many tactics in the armoury for retailers when it comes to combating store theft, knowing how much of an impact a particular tactic has on the overall extent of theft in the business is difficult to quantify.

“Retailers can monitor CCTV cameras for suspicious activity and while stealing is an interesting and difficult crime to solve, I believe that this approach is a useful one for identifying what might otherwise be missed, as well as to make sure that customers have the reassurance of the best possible experience in store.

“Indeed, maverick thieves will likely go where CCTV cameras are not and, with any luck, real, systemic theft might be deterred.”

Alan Mather, head of retail business solutions at Verisign says: “Most retailers have a theft management strategy and will have a general overview of their compliance levels, but many will not realise how significant a challenge internal theft has become.

“As more of us turn to our mobiles for retail purchasing, and retailers transform their bricks and mortar locations to become increasingly digital, there will be increased pressure on stores for an efficient way to manage theft in their work environments.

“There is undoubtedly a significant cost to the business in lost sales, with retailers having to work hard to overcome a growing internal perception that they are targets, and that they can be easily robbed.”

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