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Are shoplifters stealing your profits? According to The National Association of Shoplifting Prevention, "More than $13 billion worth of goods are stolen from retailers each year. That's more than $35 million per day." Many small to medium size stores close their doors because of shoplifting losses. With the surge in gas prices and the current economic state, it is now more important than ever for both new store owners and established businesses to protect their most valuable asset, their inventory. Here are some things you as a store owner can do:
- If you have not budgeted for anti theft devices, then fake security is an inexpensive option. Fake security tags (older style tags that do not work with today's technology) look like the real thing because they are. These security tags are pinned onto items, then taken off at the cash register and are re-usable (cost of .10 to .30 each). A fake security tower at your entrance (an older non-functional model cost of $99-$200) will complete the illusion. Post signs in the store next to the exit door, by the cash register and in the dressing room alerting shoplifters of the penalties of shoplifting and that you will prosecute. Print them on your computer for free. Most shoppers will not even notice the security; however a thief is looking for it, or rather the lack of it.
- Take a lesson from the department stores like J.C. Penneys and use ink tags on the, "grab and run," easier to steal items in your entrance. An ink tag is considered a benefit denial tag. The thief steals this item to use or give to a friend, but forcefully removing the ink tag will damage the item making it of no use. Thus there is no reason to steal the item in the first place. This little trick will run $.50 to $1 per tag and they are reusable. Removers cost $50 to $125, depending on who you get them from and what type of tag backer they are removing.
- Although a new security tower from Sensormatic runs around $8,000, and from Checkpoint around $4,000, consider off branded at $2,000 or refurbished name brand security towers ($999 to $1,500). When considering used/refurbished equipment, be sure to ask what the parts warranty period is, as well as how you will get technical support and what that will cost. The major players charge $250 per hour, with a 3 hour minimum to come to your store and set up or tune a system. Many of the companies that refurbish security towers offer technical support by phone for free. Some also provide a base plate that makes the towers self standing and easy to install with no holes in your floor; an important fact if the building is rented.
- Acquire new branded or no-name brand security towers. Obviously this is more expensive, but this is new equipment that will last longer and provides a longer parts warranty usually. If you have the budget to do so, this is a good option.
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