Employee and customer theft, fraud, and other retail losses increased a whopping 22 percent from $50.6 billion in 2018 to $61.7 billion 2019, according to the National Retail Federation. The top reasons for increased theft included employee theft (58%), shoplifting, and organized retail crime.
What are the top 4 ways that you can you reduce convenience store theft?
#1 – Develop A Great Working Relationship with Your C-Store Employees:
Despite your best efforts, dishonest employees can usually find ways to steal. If you suspect theft, call your security or loss prevention personnel or your local police department. Don’t play detective and try to solve the crime yourself.
Warning: Avoid the trap of jumping to unwarranted conclusions. A false accusation could result in serious civil liability for you and your convenience store.
#2 – Issue Access Control Cards to C-Store Employees
Top Tips: No one can duplicate control cards and give them to unauthorized people. You can deactivate them when reported missing or when an employee’s authorization ends. You can also limit their use to specific doors of your c-store by the time of day and day of week. Employees can also use access control cards to open parking lot or structure gates.
#3 – Closely Monitor C-Store Bank Deposits and Train Employees on Correct Procedures
#4 – Use Technology to Spot Convenience Store Employee Theft
Do what successful c-stores and gas stations have already done: Invest in technology to monitor your c-store point-of-sale (POS) analytics and integrate your POS with security cameras. You can aim cameras over the cash register, facing the customer at the counter, and at your lottery counter.
Technology solutions to these problems involve data mining programs and surveillance cameras. You can review data to determine whether one cashier is refunding far more items than other cashiers. Cameras can show whether a cashier repeatedly gave refunds to the same friend or relative, or whether a cashier failed to run merchandise over the scanner.
Tip: If you suspect theft or errors at your POS, you can view video footage of the transaction using loss prevention cameras to nail down the root cause.
Warning: Employee theft involving gift cards is growing because the cards are like cash and it is a lot easier to leave a store with a card than an item of merchandise. Cashiers can fake refunds and then use their registers to fill in a gift card, which they take. Or when shoppers buy a card, they give them a blank card and divert the money into a card for themselves.
However, the most common type of employee theft is “sweet hearting,” where cashiers fail to ring up or scan goods their friends or relatives bring to their register.
Protect yourself with these 4 tips. Learn more about affordable convenience store theft prevention technology, and schedule a demo here: Loss Prevention Analytics.
Article sources include City of San Diego local government website.