Q&A

Any suggestions on how to avoid theft without keeping everything behind bars?

Q.

I’m opening a salon and plan on having retail. However I live in a city and have to be mindful of security. Any suggestions on how to avoid theft without keeping everything behind bars?

A.

Theft should be a concern in all retail environments — with or without an urban zip code. Some key points to addressing theft include your store layout, customer service, and store return policies.

When considering your store layout, plan your cash register as well as your point-of-sale displays toward the back, center of your store. Since you are service-focused first, then product-focused second, having customers come to the back of your store will not steer them away from making a purchase. However, if they plan to steal something, this might. Additionally, you can keep an eye on all areas of your salon when standing at the check-out area, not giving thieves a chance to steal. Combine this with strong store management and customer service, and potential shoplifters won’t have a chance to snag anything without someone seeing. It’s important you train your team to always welcome customers and keep an eye on them if they are shopping your retail section. This should be a priority for all staff.

Finally, theft can take place without anything even being sold, but rather returned without being originally purchased in your store. Strict return policies should be enforced, including an original receipt and certain items being excluded from returns as necessary. This may include nail polish and earrings, among other items.

While it will take a combination of efforts to avoid theft, it’s something easily managed if approached correctly. Remember to be diligent with staff training, merchandising inventory, and salon policies as a whole to effectively distract potential shoplifters.    

— Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle is founder/writer/speaker of Retail Minded (retailminded.com).

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