While losses from shoplifting, burglary, smash and grab robberies, and other retail crimes are on the rise nationwide, losses from internal disorganization and employee theft are still widely attributed to a high percentage of retail shrinkage. There are several steps jewelers can take for control of both external and internal loss:
Increase Security Measures
As highly targeted businesses for crime, high-value jewelry businesses should make sure all security measures from surveillance cameras, alarms, vaults, power and display locks are properly functioning and entry access points are secure.
- Increase surveillance around the store, vaults/safes, cash wraps and employee work and break areas. Make sure cameras are positioned to easily identify a person’s face, especially anyone that will have access to inventory like customers, employees and outside contractors such as salespeople or maintenance professionals.
- Ensure surveillance cameras are recording and properly functioning on a daily basis.
- Make sure alarms and security systems are frequently tested and properly functioning.
- Advertise your security measures through signage and clearly positioned cameras.
- Install mirrors in strategic locations throughout the store to reduce blind spots and allow employees to monitor customers without hovering or being too aggressive.
- Hire a security guard or off duty police officer during events and peak sales times.
- If you suspect any criminal activity externally or internally, contact law enforcement.
Organized Inventory Management
Staying on top of your inventory and having a clear plan for merchandising protocols is critical to loss prevention. Reduce human error, unchecked discrepancies and misplaced inventory through these tips.
- Track inventory through point-of-sale inventory management software. Be sure that the protocol for tracking inventory is clear and that at least two individuals are assigned to inventory – one to record the merchandise intake and one to check and confirm.
- Make sure product merchandising and vault storage are systematic and extremely organized.
- Ensure every product shipment or package is properly documented and accounted for before moving the inventory to be sold. If anything is missing from a package, report it immediately to the vendor to resolve the issue.
- Store organization – poorly organized stores can make it easier for would-be thieves. Keep all high value items towards the back of the store and make sure they are in locked showcases.
- Ask your insurance agent to review your existing policy with you to make sure it’s up to date and reflects your most current business needs and assets. In the event of an inventory loss, you’ll be glad you did.
Employee Loss Prevention
Retail loss can often occur due to two factors – intentional employee losses and unintentional employee losses. Intentional employee loss includes stealing inventory, cash or anything from your business, as well as stealing customer credit card information to make fraudulent purchases or providing unauthorized discounts on purchases for family and friends. Unfortunately, unintentional employee loss can be more common based on negligence, failure to follow procedures, disorganization or human error.
- Carefully consider reputable associates and obtain professional references prior to hiring.
- Invest in employee training on all security, safety, inventory and loss prevention procedures – poorly trained and inexperienced employees may fail to adequately track inventory, follow merchandising management protocols or detect criminal threats to the business.
- Promote loss prevention awareness with employees and create incentive programs that reward employees for preventing retail loss.
- Consider hiring loss prevention and risk management specialists to assess your business for internal and external threats.
Retail loss prevention is necessary to reduce shrinkage and devastating consequences. The bottom line is businesses need to increase and stay up-to-date on security measures, and have organized inventory management and merchandising protocols to reduce human errors. Most importantly, businesses need to diligently work to prevent employees against stealing.
While some losses can be prevented, others cannot. The most important thing is to ensure the safety of employees and yourself. That’s why insurance for your inventory and business is so important. For additional Loss Control tips, visit berkleyassetpro.com/loss-prevention/.
If you have questions, please contact Berkley Asset Protection at 212-922-0659 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Berkley Asset Protection
Berkley Asset Protection berkleyassetpro.com, a Berkley company, is a leading specialty insurance provider that offers insurance for all aspects of jewelry and fine arts businesses: jewelers block, fine art, museums, commercial property and liability, and workers’ compensation. The company also offers Lavalier Personal Jewelry Insurance and coverage for individuals’ collections.