Desperate Measures to Stop Retail Crime

by | May 29, 2024

Desperate Measures to Stop Retail Crime

Desperate times call for desperate measures when it comes to thwarting shoplifters, smash-and-grab robbers, ram raiders, and other thieves. Retailers are pulling out all the stops. In these days of escalating threats, it seems that anything goes in an attempt to stop retail crime.

Attempts to keep things out of thieves’ hands have resulted in businesses incorporating more security measures. But “tried and true” efforts aren’t so tried and true anymore. The result: Businesses are starting to get creative.

While some of these crime-stopping methods might seem “out there” or a bit extreme… if it works, it works. Right?

Some of the Most Absurd Ways to Stop Retail Crime

Did you hear about the store requiring customers to have an employee escort to enter? At a variety of smaller-scale stores, shopping with an escort is the only way you can shop. Stores are limiting access to the store to one or two people at a time, with others left to wait outside for their turn.

While this may work to prevent “opportunistic shoplifting,” it doesn’t sound customer-friendly. Or cost-effective, for that matter. However, maybe it’s less expensive than the goods that were flying out the door unpaid for.

For that matter, can this method do anything to combat the ever-growing problem of organized smash-and-grab robberies? When organized, violent groups strike, they’re not waiting in line for their turn to shop.

And surely you’ve been to a big-box store that locks deodorant and other toiletries behind glass-paned cabinets. Good luck finding the employee with the key to spring that container of Old Spice free. There’s a good reason that 36% of consumers are less likely to shop at a store that locks up products.

Kroger: Shrink and Sales Simultaneously

At large retailer meetings, next-level asset protection is always a priority. In November, Kroger’s annual meeting recognized top-performing district asset protection leaders. They were asked to share what could improve the performance of their asset protection departments.

Interestingly, the focus on “shrink” (theft and other loss) was met with an equal focus on increasing sales. Their message: operate in a way that controls loss while simultaneously driving sales. They suggested a few specific takeaways, including:

  • Be mindful of where to place high-risk merchandise. Where and how it’s displayed has a direct impact on product vulnerability.
  • Be aware of how much of that high-risk merchandise is available. There’s a balancing act between providing convenient options for customers and theft risk.

These tips may not work for all industries, but they might be helpful for grocers and other high-volume retailers trying to stop retail crime.

From Old-Fashioned Guard Dogs to High-Tech Gadgets

In New York City, CVS added a pack of security dogs to intimidate shoplifters. Are they all bark and no bite? Hard to say.

Security Dog

Meanwhile, Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, and other retailers are working with tech companies to customize new security solutions. A Walmart in Atlanta planned to go so far as to reopen with a police substation inside the store because of a growing theft problem.

Lowe’s is using RFID chips in power tools that cashiers activate at the point of purchase. Any grab-and-run done outside that system will leave thieves with virtually unusable tools. Some RFID chips can be tracked throughout the store and even after they leave the premises. Home Depot has taken on a similar initiative.

Other security technologies that are currently generating some buzz include facial recognition software, license-plate readers, semi-autonomous robots, and predictive analytics. Of course, each of these technologies has its drawbacks, and some have legal restrictions in certain locations.

Less Opportunity = Less Theft

In some cases, pharmacies, grocery stores, and other retailers are even closing early. According to the National Retail Federation, 45% of surveyed retailers have reduced their hours of operation in response to crime concerns. Some jewelers and other stores selling high-end merchandise now operate on an appointment-only basis.

The logic is that shorter hours of operation create a narrower window of opportunity to commit a crime. There’s also better staff coverage—more eyes on the scene.

Then again, that’s not a great solution. Fewer opportunities for thieves also means fewer opportunities for shoppers. Wouldn’t you rather have a security solution that allows you to stay open and sell to your customers?

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Deep Sentinel: A Powerful Punch to Stop Retail Crime for Good

Discover Deep Sentinel’s latest iteration of business security that packs an extra punch with FlashBang. True to its name, it can deliver a shroud of smoke to reduce visibility in a flash along with ear-piercing sirens, strobe lights, and even pepper spray. These advanced deterrents are engineered to disable would-be thieves in their tracks.

That’s on top of the AI-enhanced protection included with every Deep Sentinel surveillance system complemented by live security monitoring. Professional security guards intervene using built-in two-way audio. And, if that doesn’t do the trick, the guards can activate FlashBang devices and call the local police with a verified crime in progress.

We certainly don’t blame hard-working business owners for trying a gamut of options to keep their inventory safe. Whether your choice of security is preventative or punishing, there’s a place in the mix for one of the most highly-rated surveillance systems around: Deep Sentinel.

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When Criminals Get Nasty, Get Revenge.
With criminals becoming more violent, the response needs to become more aggressive. FlashBang subdues even the most determined intruders with smoke bombs, pepper spray, strobes, and sirens. Visit or call 833.983.6006 for more information.

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