Business Strategies: Is Your Business Targeted for Retail Theft?

The incidence of retail theft and organized retail crime (ORC) is growing throughout the country—but especially in the eyewear world, where a recent rash of break-ins are making eyecare professionals take further precautions.

Tip: Train employees to write down details of the incident but not to address a thief directly—it could lead to a potentially harmful altercation.

80% 8 out of 10 retailers were victims of ORC activity in the past year.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) 2014 Organized Retail Crime Survey, 8 out of 10 retailers were victims of ORC activity in the past year. ORC involves sophisticated criminal enterprises that know which goods, brands, and products have the best return—only the items with the best resale value are taken and sold through fencing operations.

Today, ORC costs retailers from coast to coast more than $30 billion each year, according to the NRF. Top cities for ORC include Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, New York, Houston, and Atlanta.

Of course, plain old shoplifting is also an issue for ECPs today. Concerned about how retail theft might affect your business? Look to these 3 tips to make your business more theft-proof.

  1. Staff Up: The best defense is a fully staffed optical—with employees who have been trained to keep an eye out for theft. Staff up during your peak busy times and encourage employees to personally greet every customer and walk around the store while patients and customers may be browsing.
  1. Employ Defenses: Install an affordable alarm system and in-store cameras, if possible. Over 77% of retailers use burglar alarms, according to the 2012 National Retail Security Study from the University of Florida. In addition, 72% of retailers use digital video recording systems. These items provide protection and a record of shoplifting or break-ins that may have occurred in your business.
  1. Report It: Report all incidences of theft, even small shoplifting occurrences, to the police—something small may be the precursor or “test” to a more substantial shoplifting event being planned. And, train employees to write down details of the incident but not to address a thief directly—it could lead to a potentially harmful altercation.

Has your eyecare business been hit by retail theft? If so, what happened—and how did your business deal with it?

Please join this important conversation on our Facebook page here.

Erinn Morgan