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December 13, 2023

Shoplifting loss prevention checklist

Shoplifting can become a costly problem for any retailer. According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, more than $35 million worth of merchandise gets stolen from retailers each day.

In addition to financial losses, shoplifting incidents can threaten employee and customer safety, pose significant liability issues, and result in lasting reputational damage. With these concerns in mind, retail businesses can’t afford to ignore the risk of shoplifting.

Fortunately, many shoplifting incidents can be mitigated through effective loss control measures. This checklist outlines key strategies retailers can implement to help reduce shoplifting-related losses.

SECURITY FEATURES 

Have security cameras been installed throughout the store (with the exception of bathrooms and dressing rooms)?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS: 

Does the store have an effective electronic article surveillance (EAS) system in place?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Is store merchandise properly tagged and monitored through inventory management technology (e.g., point-of-sale systems and mobile applications with item-counting and barcode-scanning capabilities)?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Have bells or sensors been set up at all store entrances to keep track of customers as they arrive at the premises?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Is the store equipped with sufficient lighting and convex mirrors to ensure maximum visibility of customers?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Are all store windows, staff-only areas, and dressing rooms kept locked when not in use (if applicable)?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Has signage been posted throughout the property (e.g., at entrances and exits and above merchandise display areas) alerting customers that security features are monitoring them and shoplifters will be prosecuted?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Has the business determined whether it’s necessary to hire dedicated security personnel?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Are security features assessed on a regular basis to confirm they are functioning correctly and fixed as needed?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

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STORE LAYOUT

Are there a limited number of store entrances and exits available to customers?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Is the store kept clean and organized at all times?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Is merchandise adequately distanced from store entrances and exits to avoid attracting potential shoplifters?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Does the store leverage shorter shelving units and merchandise display areas to limit the risk of possible shoplifters concealing themselves or their actions?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Is high-priced or other valuable merchandise kept out of the direct reach of customers (e.g., behind the checkout counter or in locked display cases)?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Has the store layout been reviewed to ensure all shopping aisles are easy to navigate and there are no blind spots?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Is the checkout counter set up in a way that forces customers to walk past it before they exit the store?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

STORE POLICIES

Are there policies in place for properly managing store inventory and organizing and displaying merchandise?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Are there policies that address how prices should be marked on store merchandise and outline ways to prevent price tampering (e.g., securely attaching price tags with string or staples to minimize tag switching)?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Are there policies that establish effective dressing room protocols, such as limiting the number of items customers can have in their dressing rooms at a time and restricting customers from bringing shopping bags, backpacks, purses, or strollers into their dressing rooms (if applicable)?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Are there policies that require an adequate number of employees to be scheduled during each shift to help monitor each section of the store (especially areas containing high-value or popular merchandise)?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Are there policies that outline employees’ training requirements and responsibilities as they pertain to preventing, identifying, and responding to potential shoplifting incidents?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Are there policies that explain how the business will handle any evidence of shoplifting (e.g., security camera footage, the triggering of the EAS system, and store receipts) and prosecute confirmed shoplifters?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Are there emergency response policies in place that provide steps for handling violent shoplifting incidents?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

EMPLOYEE TRAINING

Have employees been trained on how to interact with customers (e.g., greeting customers as they enter the store, making direct eye contact and following up with them as they shop, assisting them if they need to use the dressing rooms, and holding excess or high-value items behind the counter for them until they check out)?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Have employees been instructed to follow proper checkout processes (e.g., carefully removing price tags from store merchandise, ensuring smaller items aren’t hidden within larger items, confirming items’ price markings are correct, and providing customers with a copy of their receipt for every purchase)?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Have employees been trained on how to recognize possible signs of shoplifting among customers (e.g., shopping in large groups, holding several bags or excess merchandise, watching staff but avoiding interaction with them, acting nervous or anxious, frequently glancing at store exits, fidgeting with items’ price tags, trying to use the dressing rooms without permission or spending a lot of time in one area of the store)?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

Have employees been educated on how to safely respond to shoplifting incidents (e.g., refraining from saving merchandise, not engaging in violence or getting combative with shoplifters, and contacting security personnel and local law enforcement for further assistance)?

YES ☐

NO ☐

COMMENTS:

This checklist is merely a guideline. It is neither meant to be exhaustive nor meant to be construed as legal advice. It does not address all potential compliance issues with federal, state, or local standards. Consult your licensed commercial property and casualty representative at Christensen Group Insurance or legal counsel to address possible compliance requirements. © 2023 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact us today for additional risk management guidance.

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