It's your business and you want to do all that you can to protect it, your customers and employees. The reality is that no business is immune to the threat of retail theft.

There is however, much you can do to reduce the threat of retail theft. First, evaluate your potential risks so you know where you might be vulnerable. With a little security planning and practical, cost-effective strategies you could prevent considerable losses.
Here are Practical Theft Prevention Tips:
• Light all exterior points of entry with permanent fixtures that are difficult to reach or tamper with.
• Light the interior of your business enough that someone outside the building could see someone inside.
• Install a fence or hedge – it's your first line of defense.
• You should be able to see through the fence.
• Hedges should be wide, rather than high, and of a prickly, thorny variety.
• Install window locks designed and positioned so they cannot be reached and unlocked after breaking the glass.
• Install safety glass (glazing). It is highly effective at deterring break-ins.
• Install motion detectors to sense movement inside the building.
• Install entry protecting alarms to detect the breaking of windows and the opening of doors.
• Install point protectors (such as pressure-switch mats) to detect when someone enters a restricted area, such as by a cash register.
• Install a deadbolt lock/latch in each exterior door.
• Lock overhead and receiving doors with high-quality padlocks.
Tips for Managers:
• Insure that all employees receive a written statement of key policies and procedures, and that they acknowledge receipt by their signature.
• Make it easy for employees to come forward to report their suspicions or concerns:
o Tell employees what to report and when to report it.
o Tell employees exactly how the information they provide will be used.
o Reassure employees that they are doing the right thing.
o Make yourself accessible to employees.
o Don't criticize employees who may be over-cautious.
o Respond immediately when you receive an employee call for assistance.


Every year businesses across the country lose billions of dollars to employee theft. Some studies show that the more employees believe they will be caught, the less likely they are to steal.

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to employee theft. Many dollars are saved when business owners and managers make prevention their top priority.
Here are Tips for Preventing Employee Theft:
• Screen all employees before hiring them – it's the best defense against internal theft.
• Never have fewer than two people close up at night.
• Have all keys distributed to employees engraved with the words "Do Not Duplicate."
• Watch for warning signs of theft – employees who:
o Live beyond their financial means.
o Habitually violate company policies.
o Have a substance abuse problem.
o Are chronic liars.
o Seem immature or troubled.
o May have cause to feel wronged.
• Secure all shipping labels unless part of an authorized, register-validated sales receipt.
• Limit the number of employees authorized to ring up other employees' sales, reducing the opportunities for collusion.
• Use a card access system rather than traditional keys — access cards can't easily be duplicated.
• Install a closed-circuit television system. It allows you to monitor employees and serves as a very strong deterrent when employees know one is in place.
Tips for Managers:
• Make bank deposit drops daily – no exceptions.
• Review daily exception reports highlighting excessive voids, overruns, no sales, refunds and other suspicious activity.
• Limit the number of "NO SALE" rings by defining under what special conditions they will be permitted.
• Require employees to keep the receipt for merchandise they consume in the store during that day, for possible verification by the manager.
• Inspect trash dumpster at random but at least weekly, following trash collection but prior to pickup.
• Never have fewer than two people close up at night.
• Don't allow employees to write up, ring up or wrap purchases for themselves or relatives.



The primary objective of owning your own business is to maximize your profits. Retail security systems can help you keep your profits from walking out the door unnoticed.

According to the Nation Retail Security Survey, small businesses often experience higher annual shrinkage than larger companies, in part because smaller businesses are not equipped with retail security systems. However, there is plenty you can do to reduce and/or prevent retail loss.
Make it Difficult for Retail Theft to Happen:
• Instruct employees to be the first line of defense by greeting or acknowledging every customer who enters their department.
• Provide personal customer service to as many customers as possible.
• Instruct floor personnel to make frequent eye contact with customers who wish to browse on their own.
• Assign zones for staff coverage so that floor personnel don't leave vulnerable areas unattended.
• Instruct floor personnel to make a pleasant comment to every customer about the item(s) being taken into the fitting room, so that the customer is aware of what is expected to be either returned or purchased.
• Always maintain 100 percent compliance when placing security tags on vulnerable merchandise.
• Install added security measures in "blind spots" around the store (e.g., bright lighting, security mirrors, anti-shoplifting signs, and cameras).
• Lower displays around the cash register that block the cashier's view of the selling floor.
• If your store is large in size, improve retail security by making frequent announcements over the public address (PA) system, such as "Security to area 4," even if your store doesn't have security personnel or an area 4.
• Issue a criminal trespass warning to all known shoplifters who you want to be prohibited (by law) from entering your store again. Let shoplifters know, by work and deed, that your store prosecutes all offenders.
Supervise the Selling Floor:
• Try to be on the sales floor at least 80 percent of the day.
• When walking the floor, continually observe and respond to:
o Mismarked merchandise.
o Incorrect price signs.
o Unattended price gun.
o Open showcases.
o Unlocked security fixtures.
o Empty packages.
o Inoperative security equipment.
• To ensure retail security and loss prevention, encourage employees to keep their heads up and eyes open.
• Train employees to observe and respond to:
o Known shoplifters.
o Suspicious customers.
o Merchandise concealed for later pickup.
o Open showcases.
o Loose bags or gift boxes accessible to customers.
o Empty packages.
o Merchandise without security tags.
• Don't allow merchandise to be removed from receiving until it is properly checked-in and marked.
• At least once each week, verify the proper receipt of one delivery by counting and comparing the number of cartons received (and their satisfactory condition) to the amount shown on the waybill, and look for proper notations and completion.
• Keep back areas neat and clean so that it’s easier to quickly observe irregularities and manage retail security.
• Prohibit vendors from going into back areas unsupervised.

A robbery prevention strategy can help you and your business reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim. Unlike burglary and theft, which are crimes against property, robbery is a crime against people.

Robbery is a crime that puts you, your employees and your customers in physical danger. In the U.S. alone, a commercial robbery is committed every four minutes. That's more than 100,000 robberies each year.
For your own safety and that of others, do not try to be a hero. Prevention strategies can be great deterrents to criminal behavior.

Follow These Robbery Prevention Tips:
• Place security signs and stickers on points of entry to serve as deterrents to robbery.
• Be sure you have adequate lighting both inside and outside your business.
• Exterior lighting should illuminate dark areas around your building and parking lots.
• Interior lighting should be adequate enough to allow people outside your business to see people inside.
• Install silent alarms to notify police and give them a better chance to catch perpetrators.
• Install some form of cash register protection.
• Install security cameras, which not only serve as a robbery prevention tactic, but help with identifying a robber after the robbery has been committed.
• Utilize a safe with a drop mechanism that allows you to make periodic drops during the day to minimize the amount of cash in your registers.
• Always drop large bills immediately and publicize this to discourage potential robbers.

It is estimated that 35.8% of annual losses due to shrinkage are attributed to shoplifting. The #1 reason for shoplifting is that it is easy and there is little or no risk involved.

The challenge is having the ability to spot a shoplifter before he or she commits the crime. Unfortunately shoplifters come in many shapes and sizes. A shoplifter can be rich or poor, young or old, male or female. The point here is, you can’t tell just by looking at people whether or not they will steal from you.
One thing may be certain; shoplifters tend to behave in similar ways. Knowing what behaviors to look for may help you reduce or avoid becoming a victim of shoplifting.

Shoplifting Prevention Tips:
• Install convex mirrors that allow employees to easily observe all corners and aisles.
• Have only one entrance and one exit to your business.
• Have a patrol officer at the entrance and exit.
• Keep expensive merchandise inside locked cases.
• Use electronic tags that cannot be removed by a non-employee without damaging the merchandise.
• Install security cameras in plain view.

Burglar alarm systems that go off falsely can have a negative impact on your business, particularly when they take first responders away from real emergencies. But false alarms can cause other problems for your business as well. If it happens too often, neighbors may ignore the alarm when it sounds. Over time false alarms may make your business vulnerable to crime.
As the security industry leader, we have developed methods to help to reduce false alarms - with dramatic success.

Common Reasons False Alarms Happen:
• Employees not following daily opening and closing procedures.
• Public and vendor having open access to your facilities.
• Employee error.
• Multiple suppliers and service providers having open access to your facilities.
• Janitorial staff not following procedures.
• Faulty equipment.
• Acts of nature (strong winds, electrical storms, etc.).
How to Prevent and Reduce False Alarms:
• Train all employees thoroughly on the alarms system.
• Hold regularly scheduled training sessions to ensure all employees are aware of any changes to the system (e.g., pass codes).
• Be aware of holiday-related false alarms due to untrained seasonal or temporary help, carelessness due to long hours or office parties.
• Move hanging objects away from motion detectors and sensors.
• Ensure all doors and windows are secure and locked prior to arming the system.
• Inform the monitoring center of new pass codes and arming codes, and of new or removed authorized users.
• If there is a question as to whether or not the anti theft system is working properly, immediately contact the security provider to check the status of the alarm system and devices.
• Service and maintain the system regularly (including batteries) before false alarms occur.
• Upgrade old alarm systems.

Source: https://www.adt.ca/en/business-security/learning-centre/security-tips.html