3 steps to reduce shop lifting and reduce employee theft in your store

3 steps to reduce shop lifting and reduce employee theft in your store

Reduce shop lifting and employee theft

Reduce shop lifting and employee theft: The Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association (CSNA) security report issued last year that 84 per cent of 1,820 retailers surveyed had been affected by aggressive, violent and threatening customers. And out of those, 657 of the stores had been affected within the month of April.

The same report added that half of retailers who reported incidents to gardai said that recent cases had not resulted in convictions. The gardai were understaffed and frequently did not attend.

One anonymous retailer shared “I have been to court on 8 occasions in relation to one guy who has robbed my business on 3 occasions. The person concerned had 95 previous convictions. Personally, I do not believe that in the Republic of Ireland we have a justice system, what we have is a legal system but definitely not a justice system!”

Antisocial behaviour is having drastic effects on the convenience store industry with eight out of ten retailers saying that they have been the victim of violence, aggression, robbery and burglary. Not to mention, smaller stores have been battling against fraudulent payments in the forms of counterfeit notes and credit and debit card fraud as well.

These figures are frightening, which is why we believe it’s important to educate you about the risks so you can reduce employee theft and shop lifting in your store.

Where are your losses coming from?

It’s important to identify where your losses are coming from… before you can reduce retail theft, you need to know who and what to target, to find a solution. The National Retail Federation conducted a study in 2017 that found 3 main culprits for retail loss.


The majority of retail theft is accounted by it’s customers. They will take items for personal use or resale, it’s very common. You need to make sure that crime coverage is included in your insurance and you have the security measures in place to catch them before they leave the store.  


There are various reasons why employees steal from their companies, some want to impress friends with a discount deal, others are unsatisfied with their benefits or colleagues and some just simply want the extra cash… The ACS 2019 Crime Report recorded 22,754 incidents of staff theft in convenience stores last year.

Other: Contractors, Suppliers, Admin & Management

You may be dismissive about this point, but pay attention, it’s not uncommon. Suppliers and contractors might overcharge you without you realising. Management and admin errors can include situations such as, mismanagement or inventory or wrongly priced items.

Educating Employees

Educate your employees on how to prevent shoplifting and employee theft. How they can spot suspicious behaviour from a customer and approach the situation carefully.

Here are some notes that your employees should take into account to prevent shoplifting:

  • Paying attention to shoppers who are spending too much time watching staff, those entering and exiting the store without purchasing anything and multiple people in dressing rooms.
  • Keeping an eye on shoppers with bulky clothing.
  • Being more aware during opening and closing times.
  • Being aware of common tactics such as label switching, returning merch and theft in changing rooms.

Do not panic because most of the time you won’t even need to intervene! Just ask them if they need any help and watch them sweat, then you’ll know. If you do need to intervene it’s probably best to get a manager or call the police.

The best way to preventing employee theft is to educate them on the measures you are taking for prevention. It’s important to explain about your inventory tracking system so they are aware that if anything is stolen, you will know, almost like a warning.

When something goes missing, let them know what it is or how much as well because being specific will let them know that you are on top of all of it. There will be no sneaking past you.

Lastly, you need to describe any measures you will/are taking to prevent employee theft such as video cameras. It’s important that they know they are being watched with every move so the temptation won’t get the better of them.

Organisation and placement

The majority pf the time, theft is down to impulse and temptation, but with proper deterrents in place it will reduce the temptation. Here are some ways to organise your store for better shoplifting prevention:

  • Have your checkout near the front of the store rather than the back… this way you can keep an eye out at all times to prevent their last step out the door.
  • Have an open floor layout so that most of the store is visible.
  • Keep on top of the lighting, making sure that there are no dimly lit areas.
  • With the easier to steal items (i.e. smaller products such as lighters), keep them closer to the cash register/you.

Make sure that you have mirrors positioned all around the store so you can see what’s going on down each aisle.

Sixty-five percent of retailers surveyed said that they had invested in security systems or the services of a security company. Security cameras are always a great idea, especially in a larger store or when your staff can’t watch the floor 24/7, this will immediately prevent theft.


So to sum up this blog, though retail theft is quite common… there are a variety of theft-reduction solutions out there for small businesses to use for protection.

  • Identify where your losses are coming from.
  • Educate your employees.
  • Organisation and placement in the store is important.

For more blogs, check out our page.

If YOU have any other ideas on how to prevent theft in your store, please let us know via…




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