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Loss prevention

Locking up Expensive Merchandise to Prevent Theft

Posted by Taylor Grassby on Jul 27, 2015 7:00:00 AM


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Why Locking Up Expensive Products is a Smart Move for Retailers

Generally, retailers are diligent about locking up dangerous items so that customers have to receive employee assistance to get to them. Preventing accidents is an obvious goal of any storefront, but what about preventing theft? Those locked display cases aren’t just for mitigating danger, they’re also vital for protecting your most expensive merchandise from being stolen.

Locking up your more expensive items can help prevent theft and loss, but you don’t want to put everything under lock and key. Continue reading to learn more about when you should be locking up merchandise (and when you shouldn’t be), and to get some tips and tricks about implementing this important component of your loss prevention strategy.

Deciding which items to lock up

First, you’ll want to think about which items to lock up. You can put the most expensive products on lockdown, but also consider which items are most commonly stolen. For example, personal hygiene products like Crest WhiteStrips and disposable razors are common targets for thieves. If your retail store stocks these items it could be worthwhile to store them in a locked display case where sales floor employees are present.

And remember, your goal should be to secure your merchandise without inconveniencing the customer.

Don’t lock everything up, though

As a retailer, you may be tempted to put every expensive item in your store under careful lock and key. However, that tactic can actually lead to a loss of sales if customers can’t properly examine an item they’re considering purchasing.

Gamestop decided to analyze the effects of locking up expensive merchandise, and the results were surprising. They found that some of these products can be safely displayed on their sales floors, and that “the increased sales that result from having a physically accessible product far outweigh the reduced theft of locking those items away.”

Train employees about your loss prevention strategies

Locking expensive or commonly stolen items up isn’t going to be beneficial if your employees aren’t aware of the protocol. In this article, the writer recounts a story about purchasing a video game. First, there were no employees available to unlock the cabinet. Next, the staff didn’t have access to the keys. After waiting for 15 minutes someone finally unlocked the cabinet, handed off the game, and walked away. That doesn’t sound like a thorough loss prevention tactic, does it? It’s also a sign of bad customer service.

Some customers won’t wait for a retail employee to unlock a display case, they’ll give up and take their business some place else. Ensure that each staff member is well-trained about your store’s protocol, including being present to unlock items and telling the customer where they can pay for a product (especially in a larger store with numerous departments.) You can easily make sure that stories like the one above don’t become commonplace in your storefront by coaching managers and employees on all of your company’s loss prevention strategies.

Topics: Loss Prevention

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Envysion is a leading provider of cloud-based video driven business intelligence that helps companies deliver on their brand promise. At Envysion, we marry operational, financial and employee metrics together with video and sophisticated analytics and make it easy-to-use and accessible, offering visibility into every store…every location…every day…from anywhere.

Taylor Grassby

Taylor Grassby

Account Executive, Envysion

Taylor Grassby, hails from Steamboat Springs, CO. Following his passion for skiing and extensive skiing career as a youth, Mr. Grassby was given an opportunity to work on the other side of the ski business as a factory rep for Nordica North America. It was with Nordica where he discovered his passion for business development as he oversaw all product launches for the company.

As an operations executive at REVE Marketing, he was able to combine, vast industry experience with his technical know-how. From there Taylor went to work as a senior account executive with a SaaS firm specializing in web and mobile development for the conference, convention and trade show industry. 

In addition to his current position as account executive for Envysion, Taylor is attending the University of Denver completing a Masters in Leadership and Organizational Studies with a completion date expected in 2015.

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