5 Quick and Low-tech Tips to Prevent Shoplifting in Your Retail Store

Prevent Shoplifting - Complete Controller

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 the individual retailer(s) or a manufacturing company. Company-operated retail stores are relatively easier to manage and control as inventory management is fairly stress-free. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

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 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 most bizarrely. People are never short on creative ideas to steal products from retail stores, encouraging them to try their luck repeatedly. 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 worldwide 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. If they expect to manage their business operations successfully and remain in the retail business for long, they need to develop extraordinary techniques to prevent losses. Small retail store owners need to stay more vigilant and keep a close eye on their customers and 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. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Placement of Mirrors

Mirrors more or less work like high-tech cameras for small retail store owners. They can instantly spot shoplifters, making them the most inexpensive yet effective alternative to surveillance cameras. They help you keep a close eye on your customers and employees alike. However, mirrors’ strategic placement 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 retail store’s entrance, 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 safer and encouraged to try their luck in retail stores that are messy and disorganized. It gets pretty hard for even a store manager or owner to determine if something is amiss if a store is not properly organized. By keeping your store organized and products well-placed, you can prevent shoplifting and 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. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

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 have largely made the lives of small retailers easy. To prevent shoplifting, many measures can be taken to keep shoplifters away from your retail store.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers