Hardware Retailing

MAR 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | March 2017 50 Along with the cameras, sensors are one of the Buchheit team's most-used methods of security. "We put sensors on higher-priced items, but sometimes they go on things that cost $19.99, or even $9.99," Clubb says. "That may not seem like much, but if someone steals five things that are $9.99 each, the cost can add up quickly." There's no set minimum of what gets tagged, he says; rather, he and his team keep an eye on what's getting taken and make adjustments as needed. There are many types of sensors available, and these are smaller and less expensive than cameras, but still effective ways to improve your security measures. EAS (electronic article surveillance) tagging can include the small tags commonly found on clothing, as well as types that are specially made to fit on peg hooks. You can use these sensors just about anywhere in your store: on commonly stolen items, on products above a certain price point or on products in a certain category that you want to track more closely. Improving Store Layout If your loss prevention budget isn't big, don't worry—there are several small things you can do to help make your store less attractive to shoplifters without spending much money. First, analyze your store layout. Ensure your aisles are wide and easy to navigate, and check for any poorly lit areas on the salesfloor. Change any burned-out lightbulbs right away. Arrange fixtures so you have clear sight lines throughout the store. Put up a large sign outside that states that shoplifters will be prosecuted. It's informative to all customers and may make a potential shoplifter think twice before trying to steal something from your store. If it isn't feasible to install a full camera system, you can still put in several camera domes. These show customers you are making an effort to prevent shoplifting, which may deter them from any attempts to take something. Camera domes are helpful even if they don't all have cameras inside. Would-be thieves don't know which are and aren't functional. It's best to avoid any blind spots in your store, but for the unavoidable ones, try putting in mirrors so you can see what's going on in those areas. Finally, try locking up some of your high-dollar items. Put them in clear cases so they're easy for customers to look at, but require an associate to access the products. Associates should keep keys on their person and not hanging near the case where shoplifters can reach them. Merchandise in glass cases is easy for customers to see but hard for them to access without an associate's help.

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