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Boxing Day: 7 Simple Ways to Prevent Shoplifting

By: Ida-Marie Furino
December 12, 2017

Post-holiday sales draw in large crowds, especially on Boxing Day. For retailers, Boxing Day is a great opportunity to attract customers and sell off inventory. Unfortunately, some dishonest people may try to take advantage of the shopping frenzy to commit some discreet shoplifting. Is your business equipped to confront this issue?
While most retailers can trust mall security guards to lend a helping hand in case of a major incident, you’re typically on your own to prevent shoplifting. Here are 7 simple ways to do just that. 

1. Optimize your store’s layout for theft prevention

How and where you display your merchandise could impact the likelihood of theft. Place valuable merchandise, particularly small and easy-to-shoplift items, near the checkout counter or in locked cases. Eliminate blind spots by installing mirrors and make sure that merchandise displays do not obstruct your view of the store. 

2. Be on the lookout for suspicious activities    

Train your employees to be able to identify suspicious behaviour. For instance, customers who avoid eye contact could be hiding a bad intention. Employees should offer these—and all—customers assistance, keeping in mind that thieves may have already shoplifted an item and are hiding it. 

Employees should greet every new customer when they enter the store and be especially vigilant when people come in with strollers and large bags, both of which can conceal stolen goods. 

3. Post signs that warn shoplifters 

Anti-theft signs intimidate thieves, not legitimate buyers, and are an inexpensive yet effective way to ward off potential shoplifters. When installing loss prevention signage in your store, be sure to:
•    Use signs that feature eyes, which double the likelihood of compliance 
•    Place signs in high places where shoplifters would most likely check for security cameras
•    Have a sign near the front entrance, where shoppers can see it as they walk in

4. Install a bell on your door

Install a bell or another pleasant-sounding chime at your front entrance to alert you and your employees of new customers entering and leaving the store. You may also consider adding an alarm at your back exit to alert you should potential shoplifters try to make a getaway. 

5. Use electronic article surveillance 

As technology becomes more commonplace—and more affordable—small- and medium-sized retailers should consider electronic article surveillance and other anti-shoplifting systems. In fact, many manufacturers of retail goods already conceal these alarmed tags in the goods and their packaging, so retailers don’t have to tag the merchandise themselves.

6. Use number tags in your fitting rooms

Number tags are a simple and inexpensive loss prevention method that help your fitting room attendant keep track of the number of items a customer has with him or her. It also makes the customer aware that the attendant knows how many items are in the fitting room and, more importantly, the attendant knows the exact number of items to look for when the customer leaves the fitting room. 

7. Install video surveillance throughout your store

Installing security cameras throughout your store, as well as signs pointing to the security cameras, can deter shoplifters. After all, if people know they’re being watched, they’re less likely to steal.


From big-box department stores to boutique shops: every retailer should actively deter thieves to prevent shoplifting, especially during peak shopping periods, such as Boxing Day. Click here to read retail security expert Brian Evans’ top theft prevention tips for store owners.

Security in action
How does Canadian Tire protect its retail operations? Download this case study to find out!