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 54 hard to develop this culture where employees know we care about loss prevention," he says. "We want them to bring information to us, and we want them to know it's a priority." If it's in the budget to hire a loss prevention manager, he suggests hiring an experienced, qualified person who has law enforcement or similar experience. If that's not in the budget, you still want to make sure you're fully staffing each store. Fewer staffers on the floor mean fewer people to help customers and keep their eyes open for any suspicious activity. What's Your Plan? Establishing a consistent policy for apprehending or prosecuting shoplifters will keep all employees on the same page. Will you do live apprehensions? Will you prosecute? Will you prosecute only if the theft is above a certain dollar amount? Having a policy in place, regardless of the size of your business and whether or not you have a loss prevention team, is not only helpful as you train your employees, but necessary so you can be consistent in practicing it, especially if an incident arises. Buchheit is serious about deterring shoplifting and frequently prosecutes those who are caught. "We want to get the word out to the community, including to any potential thieves, that we are not going to tolerate shoplifting," Clubb says. "We will prosecute. We want to get that message out to deter potential shoplifters." However, they don't do live apprehensions, he says. "We approach loss prevention with customer service in mind. Word gets out if we grab someone and embarrass them in the parking lot. We don't want any of our customers to see that confrontation. " We want to get the word out to the community, including to any potential thieves, that we are not going to tolerate shoplifting. " —Brian Clubb, Buchheit Stores Brian Clubb, corporate loss prevention manager, ensures Buchheit's power tools are safe from potential theft.