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15 Tips and Tricks for Retail Theft / Loss Prevention and Reducing Inventory Shrinkage

- By Bob Twain

Did you know that nearly 50% of retail inventory shrinkage comes from employee theft? It's a bigger problem that most retailers think. And you shouldn't overlook this expensive problem because it can happen to you.

To help you avoid these unpleasant experiences, I'll start by giving you 10 tips to prevent retail theft by using your POS software...

  1. Require store managers to review register transactions every day - look for excessive openings of the drawer, small cash refunds, returns, etc. (Important Tip: Make sure your employees can see you or a manager reviewing this information. Don't hide in the back room because just by letting them watch you can reduce more theft than anything.)

  2. Look at your "voided/cancelled/deleted sales report" every day.

  3. Look at your "returned transactions" report every day.

  4. Do not share passwords so your cashiers can logon with a different username.

  5. Add password protection/security to all areas of your software and ONLY allow employees to access what they really need.

  6. Look at your "inventory adjustments report" every day.

  7. Look at your "profit margin reports" every day. If your margins are low in a certain category for that day, then you should do a little research to find out why.

  8. Keep your inventory count accurate.

  9. Make it common knowledge with your employees that your stock is constantly monitored in your POS system.

  10. Secure the access to your customer's personal information in your POS software... particularly, their credit card information!

Here are 5 more retail loss prevention tips that don't require a POS system but I feel they are important...

  1. Keep the back door closed and alarm it. This is one of the easiest ways for employees to sneak out merchandise.

  2. Have management inspect the garbage before it's taken out.

  3. Review security videos on a regular basis. And most importantly, make sure your staff knows you do so.

  4. If you've ever been robbed blind and don't know who did it, then try NOT to let your employees find out about it.

  5. On the flip side, if you do bust somebody for stealing something. Let all your employees know that they did NOT get away with it! Sometimes this can be your way to prevent theft and inventory shrinkage.

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To your success!

Bob Twain

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