Cool mysterious girl with shopping bags undercover
A retail store is an open establishment where you can sell commodities, goods, or products directly to individual customers or families. Retail stores are either managed or operated by individual retailer(s) or a manufacturing company itself. Company-operated retail stores are relatively easier to manage and control as inventory management is fairly stress-free.

Prevent shoplifting

Shoplifting is a very popular term used to describe an unnoticed theft of goods, merchandise, or retail products from an open retail establishment such as a departmental or convenience store. It typically involves a person looting an item from shelves into their pockets, undergarments, baby strollers, handbag etc. and leaving the establishment without paying for it. To prevent this corrupt and unethical activity, retail stores can use different psychological tactics and low-tech tips in order to establish more command and control over their business.

Retail Industry Dynamics

Managing a brick-and-mortar retail store has become extremely challenging these days. No matter how much brain and technology you use to prevent shoplifting, it continues to happen in the most bizarre fashion. People are never short on creative ideas to steal products from retail stores, which encourages them to try their luck over and over again. This opportunistic behavior has reduced the profit margins of retail stores quite significantly. According to 2017 statistics revealed by an American based retail firm, shoplifting around the globe has cost retailers about $51 billion worth of inventory.

Business entrepreneurs and retailers use different ways and means to prevent shoplifting without breaking the bank. Clearly, if they expect to manage their business operations successfully and remain in the retail business for long, then they need to come up with extraordinary techniques to prevent losses. For small retail store owners, they need to stay more vigilant and keep a close eye, not only on their customers, but also on their employees. Small retailers usually have a limited budget which means they can’t afford to take high-tech measures for securing their premises from shoplifters or potentially their employees.

Here are some low-tech tips that can help prevent shoplifting and save you from potential threats.

Placement of Mirrors

Mirrors more or less work like high-tech cameras for small retail store owners. They can instantly spot shoplifters, which makes it the most inexpensive, yet effective, alternative to surveillance cameras. They help you keep a close eye on your customers and employees alike. However, the strategic placement of mirrors is critically important as you can only notice suspicious activities when they are placed at certain angles visible to the owners. Moreover, acquiring mirrors is quite easy as they are widely available in the market.


Installing security signs or displaying products in your store with theft prevention in mind is a low-cost tactic to prevent shoplifting and deter shady characters. Anti-theft signs must be placed in certain crucial spots such as the entrance of the retail store, on shelves and walls, fitting rooms, etc. Even if you don’t have cameras in place, you can use surveillance signs to discourage suspicious activity. Using anti-theft signage is one of the best low-tech tips that can make a huge difference.

Keep Your Retail Store Organized

Shoplifters feel more safe and encouraged to try their luck in retail stores that are messy and disorganized. Let’s be honest, it gets pretty hard for even a store manager or owner to find out if something is amiss if a store is not properly organized. By keeping your store organized and products well-placed, you can not only prevent shoplifting but also expect to increase the retail store’s ambiance and aesthetics. Moreover, you need to optimize your retail store’s design, arrangement, and layout for theft prevention.

Train Employees

You need to train your employees to greet shoppers when they enter the retail store and remain watchful throughout their stay. They must also be taught different ways to manage suspicious activities or shady visitors. A secret language or code for reporting shady activity is probably the best way to alert the entire staff or owners. Also, they must be told to look after the entire store including a customer’s belongings such as a handbag, a baby stroller, and other similar things.

Hire a security guard

To prevent shoplifting, a security guard may work be your best bet in dealing with all of the odds, especially when all other things fail to deliver results. Many small retail stores consider it a mere burden on their shoulders as they can’t afford to hire expensive security guards but this is probably the best solution to theft prevention. This will make shoplifters think twice before indulging in suspicious or wrongful deeds. Most of the time, it is more of a psychological thing that deters shady characters and keeps them away from the retail store.


All salutations to superior low-tech tips and prevention techniques that have largely made the life of small retailers easy. To prevent shoplifting, a number of measures can be taken for keeping shoplifters away from your retail store.

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