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Ten ways to prevent theft in your small businesses

You have invested too much time and money in your business to leave yourself vulnerable to theft. Believe it or not, the best loss prevention tool is good customer service.

  1. Greet everyone that walks in: thieves hate to be noticed.
  2. Ensure good sight lines throughout your business.
  3. Avoid tall displays that impede a view of the store.
  4. Keep smaller merchandise close to the cash register or in locked cases.
  5. Avoid keeping expensive merchandise near the entrance or exit.
  6. Ask loiterers if they need help.
  7. Instil good cash-handling techniques in your employees.
  8. Make bank deposits during banking hours at irregular times.
  9. Have an alarm or camera system and make sure it works.
  10. Train your staff to look for shady customer behavior.


Tips on spotting a shoplifter

Look for people who:

  • Avoid eye contact with staff.
  • Pay more attention to staff than merchandise.
  • Stay in hard-to-see areas of the store.
  • Carry large bags or wear baggy clothing.
  • Arrive in a group – especially if they split up to divide staff attention.
  • Take a lot of merchandise into a changing room.


Sometimes despite all preventative efforts businesses still get robbed. A robbery can be a very intense and scary time. Learn what you and your staff should do during and after a robbery in our Crime-proofing your business handout.


Effective loss prevention can be as simple as training employees to be vigilant and putting checks in place to ensure you and your staff know what to look out for.