Designed to deter shoplifters

Some essentials that store designers must keep in mind.

Shoplifting, also referred to as a five-finger discount in Australia and the US, jacking, chaving and nicking in the UK is a serious problem for retailers around the globe. They are constantly making endeavours to devise ways to reduce this industry hazard. A little consideration into the store's layout and design can avert theft from the store. 

There are certain elements that you can implement while designing a store to keep shoplifters at bay. Here are some of the essentials that store designers can keep in mind.  

Crystal clear displays
Instead of displaying items in opaque racks, they should be displayed prominently and in a clutter-free manner so that they are visible to all and missing merchandise is noticeable instantly. Place small, expensive items in locked cabinets or behind the counter. Keep the store neat and clean and place them in-order. Full displays and straightened shelves allow employees to have a complete view of all the items.  

Well created spaces
There should be no dead corners in the store. There should be plenty of open, well-lit spaces and wide aisles to ensure high visibility. Product shelves should be designed at a level of less than four ft height so that customers are always visible to the staff. 

Technological considerations
Technology when used together with the elements of design can work wonders for a store. Using digital video surveillance, closed circuit television, security tags, two-way mirrors, point of sale monitoring solutions along with remote and central station monitoring does the job very well. Point-of-sale data mining software solutions detect potential theft problems at the cash counter and alert the store personnel just in time to take the appropriate action. 

The store lay out should be designed in such a way that the customers must pass through the payment area and staff to exit the store. Security equipments that raise an alarm at an unusual activity should be employed on all exists of a store including unlocked exits and unused checkout aisles. Equipments which have higher accuracy, miss fewer items, protect the smaller items and have broader coverage with fewer pedestals are the apt ones. Such equipments can be fitted according to the requirement of the store’s design.  

Large signages and posters that mention that the store is under electronic surveillance is an important constituent to be integrated in a store’s design. Signs like 'Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted' should be put up at visible locations. A display screen in the store that screens the movement of people should be put up; the perception that ‘you are constantly monitored’ will make the shoplifter hesitant and cautious about stealing. 

Wrap up
The implication of these design elements will help you to keep a check on shoplifting without compromising on customer service. However, it should be kept in mind that employing these essentials alone will not help you enough. Constant vigilance is a tactic that all the retailers need to adopt at every moment to tackle theft. Daily check of not only high valued items but all the items in the store is a must. Also, it should be kept in mind that shoplifting can not be eliminated completely but can only be controlled and reduced to a certain limit.  

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