Staring at theft
Look shoplifters in the eye
STORE staff are being trained to look customers directly in the eye to turn them off shoplifting.
Security experts say the highly profitable Christmas shopping blitz was a prime time for theft.
Higher food prices, especially for meat, tempted more people to steal, according to Checkpoint Systems vicepresident Mark Gentile.
Retail losses analysis reveals easily concealed batteries, razors and small technology items such as mobile phone accessories, USB sticks and SD storage cards are among the most commonly swiped goods over the holiday season.
Skincare, cosmetics, perfumes, gourmet meat, seafood, bourbon and whiskey, branded toys and beauty gift sets are also high on thieves’ radars.
Mr Gentile said technology, such as antitheft tags that alerted stores when products had not been paid for, were not the only line of defence.
“We recommend store staff greet and make eye contact with every customer that comes in,” Mr Gentile said. “This, along with visibly tagged products, puts off potential opportunistic shoplifters because they no longer feel invisible.
“When you look at someone directly … you are getting that instant engagement with that person and they know you are being vigilant.”
Retailers, including mid-tier department stores and supermarkets, have trialled new camera and video technology to detect “incorrect scan” scams and stealing.
Other advances to tackle self-serve checkout cheats include an automated product recognition system that identifies types of fruit and other items. At some supermarkets, entire shelves of baby formula have been fitted with security devices that can only be removed at registers.
Shoplifting costs the retail sector about $9.3 billion a year.