It’s barely Halloween but the Christmas wares have already begun to appear in the shops. The walls of selection boxes that send consumers into a frenzy are already lining supermarket back-walls. We’ll be listening to ‘he’s making a list and checking it twice..’ before the last leaves have fallen off the trees.  So what does that mean for retailers?

In order to ensure you are ready for the Christmas shopping period, consider now,

how you can reduce loss this year and prepare for the season ahead?

Have you begun recruiting your seasonal staff and have you put enough time into ensuring they are well trained and able to work with you as the retailer to reduce loss?  It can be a challenging time for your staff with additional point of sales perhaps in operation, a fast pace as people rush through lists, expectation of late nights and extra hours.

Shoppers cram a year’s worth of gifts and food shopping into a short timespan, with 45% of the total traffic for Christmas predicted by ShopperTrak to take place over 10 days. Its worth checking out their infographic as while US themed on dates, very often the Irish market follows US trends.

Your staff are your best asset in relation to preventing loss in store – give them the training and support that they need to deal with the increased traffic.

Here’s a Christmas list that may serve to reduce loss and therefore bring joy and good tidings to retailers:

  • ensure staff are aware of the impact of the season on the overall profits of the shop
  • brief all staff, especially new members of staff, on seasonal policies or additional procedures that might help them to react appropriately
  • provide training on loss prevention techniques, guidelines and the legal aspect they should be aware of relating to shoplifters
  • make certain that new staff members are aware of the increase in gift wrapping, discounts or gift card requests and that there is ample coverage to deal with queues and extra staff time for such transactions
  • remind staff that customers will respond well to good customer service
  • pay attention to customers, be pleasant and ensure that they realise that staff are attentive – both to shoppers and shoplifters
  • consider safety of staff members when it comes to cash handling, lodgements, or other processes that involve cash or locking up – skimping on security puts your staff at risk and negative incidents will reflect on your your brand and your reputation.
  • point of sales monitoring, tagging systems and visible security methods will ensure that your shop is protected from inside out.

According to the Global Theft Barometer, small and easy to conceal items such as spirits, mobile accessories, batteries, fashion accessories, and razor blades, as well as high-value items with high resale value, such as tablets, are most vulnerable when it comes to shrinkage.

If you think you might need help preparing for Christmas please contact Tom Dunlea at tdunlea@mercurysystems.ie or call 087 114 9878.