Internal Theft Still Accounts For Large Percentage Of Retail Loss, Says Insurer
December 15, 2021 (0 comments)
New York, NY—While losses from retail jewelry crimes such as burglary, smash-and-grabs, and shoplifting are on the rise nationwide, jewelers need to be equally vigilant about inside losses, says a new release from Berkley Asset Protection. Internal disorganization and employee theft are still major contributors to a high percentage of retail shrinkage. The insurer offers a number of tips jewelers can take to minimize the chances of both internal and external losses.
Organized Inventory Management. Staying on top of your inventory and having a clear plan for merchandising protocols is critical to loss prevention. Reduce human error, unchecked discrepancies and misplaced inventory through these tips.
- Track inventory through point-of-sale inventory management software. Be sure that the protocol for tracking inventory is clear and that at least two individuals are assigned to inventory - one to record the merchandise intake and one to check and confirm.
- Make sure product merchandising and vault storage are systematic and extremely organized.
- Ensure every product shipment or package is properly documented and accounted for before moving the inventory to be sold. If anything is missing from a package, report it immediately to the vendor to resolve the issue.
- Store organization – poorly organized stores can make it easier for would-be thieves. Keep all high value items towards the back of the store and make sure they are in locked showcases.
- Ask your insurance agent to review your existing policy with you to make sure it’s up to date and reflects your most current business needs and assets.
Employee Loss Prevention. Retail loss can often occur due to both intentional employee losses and unintentional employee losses. Intentional employee loss includes stealing inventory, cash, or anything from your business, as well as stealing customer credit card information to make fraudulent purchases or providing unauthorized discounts on purchases for family and friends. Unintentional employee loss, however, can be more common and is the result of negligence, failure to follow procedures, disorganization, or human error.
- Carefully consider reputable associates and obtain professional references prior to hiring.
- Invest in employee training on all security, safety, inventory and loss prevention procedures – poorly trained and inexperienced employees may fail to adequately track inventory, follow merchandising management protocols or detect criminal threats to the business.
- Promote loss prevention awareness with employees and create incentive programs that reward employees for preventing retail loss.
- Consider hiring loss prevention and risk management specialists to assess your business for internal and external threats.
Increase Security Measures. As highly targeted businesses for crime, high-value jewelry businesses should make sure all security measures from surveillance cameras, alarms, vaults, power and display locks are properly functioning and entry access points are secure.
- Increase surveillance around the store, vaults/safes, cash wraps and employee work and break areas. Make sure cameras are positioned to easily identify a person’s face, especially anyone that will have access to inventory like customers, employees and outside contractors such as salespeople or maintenance professionals.
- Ensure surveillance cameras are recording and properly functioning on a daily basis.
- Make sure alarms and security systems are frequently tested and properly functioning.
- Advertise your security measures through signage and clearly positioned cameras.
- Install mirrors in strategic locations throughout the store to reduce blind spots and allow employees to monitor customers without hovering or being too aggressive.
- Hire a security guard or off duty police officer during events and peak sales times.
- If you suspect any criminal activity externally or internally, contact law enforcement.
While some losses can be prevented, others cannot. The most important thing is to ensure the safety of employees and yourself. For additional Loss Control tips, visit BerkleyAssetPro.com/LossPrevention.