Man stealing a book

Stopping Shoplifters

Updated August 13, 2019 . AmFam Team

You work hard for your business and you’d do anything to protect it. So take these 5 steps today to safeguard your business from shoplifters.

As a business owner, you’ve got a lot to think about, but no matter how busy you get, you wouldn’t change a thing! And you’d do anything to protect it. That’s why it’s so important to add one more thing to your list of to-do’s — preventing theft in your store.

Not sure where to begin? Here are our tips on protecting your hard-earned business dream from shoplifters.

Tips to Stop Shoplifters From Affecting Your Small Business

Start with inventory. If you don’t already have a solid inventory management process in place, now is a great time to start one. Not only will it make it easier to keep on top of your supply, it’ll help you detect any possible theft and expose how it might be impacting your bottom line.

Educate your employees. Your employees are on the front-line of daily operations, so it’s important to teach them best practices. Ask them to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior, encourage them to report anything out of the ordinary and train them to interact with every customer to show that they’re alert to traffic coming in and out.

Organize your store. Go for a well-lit, open concept and keep smaller items of higher value closer to the register rather than at the storefront. Anything that’s the perfect size to slip into a large purse or pants pocket should be kept in your line of sight. And you’ll want to have a layout that allows your employees to check out a customer while also keeping an eye on the rest of the store — people are less likely to shoplift if they feel watched. Keep the shelves low and the aisles short so it’s easy to see where customers are at all times.

Install security cameras. If you’ve got the budget for it, consider installing video cameras to keep an eye out at all times. There are plenty of smart security camera options that not only record high quality video and audio, but upload footage to a secure cloud server for you to review later. Make the presence of them well known — they’ll act as a visual deterrent for shoplifters and as an extra security measure against potential employee theft.

Use mirrors and signs. Putting mirrors in the corners or at the end of aisles in your shop will give you better visibility if your layout can’t be altered. They also remind would-be thieves that they’re being watched. Posting a sign at the front of your store or up next to any mirrors or security cameras can also help deter people from stealing your merchandise.

Opt for after-hour security. Finally, you might want to invest in a security system to keep watch while you’re closed. An alarm system will act to scare away potential burglars and notify you — and the authorities — of suspicious activity.

When it comes to keeping your business safe, it’s all about being proactive. So take these steps now and free yourself up to focus on growing your business dream. Connect with your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) to learn about what kind of insurance coverage you can get for your small business to help protect what matters most.

Tools & Resources

Explore our tools and smart tips.