Home
Business-Wise
Kate's Collage
"Vinny Da Vendor"
"Benny Da Buyer"
Kizer & Bender
Memory, Paper & Stamps
Category Reports
Designing Perspectives
Scene & Heard


Creative Leisure News
306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com


 


A view of the industry through the eyes of a chain buyer.

Printer Version

Foil Those "Five-Fingered Discounts"!

How to guard against shoplifting.

by Roger St. Germain, Open Page Wholesalers (October 20, 2008)

The excitement of planning for and launching a new business generates a positive experience. To introduce a negative thought into this environment is counterintuitive but very necessary. You can be doing everything right in your business, but still go bankrupt if you do not prevent theft! Not a pleasant thought and one most scrapbook storekeepers find hard to accept.

"My customers wouldn't steal from me!!!" Yes they will.

A storeowner confirmed this by describing her experience. One of her main sources of business is a senior's home near her store. To her utter amazement, she determined some of these seniors were pocketing her merchandise.

The perception must be created that the customers can be seen at all times. This is accomplished by ensuring sightlines from the checkout counter, where you typically have staff much of the time, and are such that all expensive merchandise is visible.

Cardstock, totes, large items or any merchandise that could not be easily pocketed can be at the back of the store or behind displays, but embellishments, tools and all higher priced merchandise should be near or behind the checkout area.

The owner of a large store in Ontario, Canada, noticed a customer wearing a floor-length coat and pushing a stroller. The owner thought she saw items in the shopper's hands but then did not see the items back on the shelf as she moved along. After some time, the shopper announced she needed to take her baby out to the car to change its diaper. The storeowner called the police. The shopper had over $1,000 of stolen merchandise in her car. She would have returned to the store to continue stealing had the storeowner not intervened. In relating the incident to other area storeowners, it became known that this shopper had been in several scrapbook stores in the greater Toronto area. It is safe to assume she had relieved these stores of considerable merchandise as well.

Staff should walk the store constantly as part of their customer service function. Soft-soled shoes, which allow them to walk silently, will put a thief off as well. Concave mirrors strategically positioned to permit a sightline to otherwise invisible areas will deter thieves.

Inexpensive surveillance systems are available that will include several cameras and software for those images to be displayed on your computer monitor. Positioning the monitor so customers can see a surveillance system is in place will let thieves know they are being watched.

A scrapbook store took the idea of positioning mirrors to heart, but rather than using concave mirrors, positioned 3- by- 8-foot mirrors on the walls so they looked to be part of the dcor. In fact, they were located to provide sightlines required.

On a visit to another store, I commented to the owner that her store layout was ill conceived.

She was shocked at my suggestion that her customers could and would steal from her. Two days later she caught a customer stealing. In fact, they had been stealing all along. The owner's awareness had simply been raised so that she now is watchful.

Remember to budget for shrinkage. Your diligence in theft prevention will minimize that expense but you can't eliminate it completely. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

(Note: Roger St. Germain is the founder of Open Page Wholesalers in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Reprinted by permission of the Professional Scrapbook Retailers Organization (PSRO) a PMA Member Association. For more "PSRO Business Briefs" visit www.psro.org. A 12-month trial membership is $50.)

xxx 

 

horizontal rule

horizontal rule



   
   

Benny's Recent Columns...
BERNINA NAMES TOP DEALERS FOR 2012; They demonstrated exemplary sales, service, and customer education.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE; Do it for the grieving families.

AN INTERVIEW WITH SPC'S ALEX NIELSEN; Explaining the new affiliate program for independent retailers.

A LETTER FROM HOBBY LOBBY STORES CEO

HIGHLIGHTS OF MICHAELS' SEC FILING; The finances and the plans.

THREE WAYS RETAILERS CAN AVOID THE BLACK FRIDAY BLUES; How to maximize what should be your biggest sales day.

BE A MEDIA DARLING: 5 TIPS TO A SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW; How to talk to reporters to maximize the positive effects of media attention.

TOP NEW PRODUCTS AT CHA'S SUMMER SHOW; Mostly scrapbook/paper craft products, but not all.

WAL-MART AND OUR INDUSTRY; A brief, casual history of the relationship.

THE STATE OF RETAILING & THE LOCAL BEAD STORE; The fast pace of changes is creating challenges for all.

COMMENTS ON THE FUTURE OF INDEPENDENT BEAD SHOPS; Are chain stores the problem, or is it something else?

MICHAEL'S FOURTH QUARTER, FISCAL YEAR REPORT; Highlights of a positive report.

WHY MICHAELS DIDN'T MAKE A BOTTOM-LINE PROFIT; Evidence that the banking system is coming back.

MEMORIES OF AN OLD FRIEND; Lots of years, lots of fun with Mike Dupey.

MICHAELS AND A.C. MOORE: Fourth Quarter, Fiscal Year Results; Profits, losses and sales.

HANCOCK AND JO-ANN: FOURTH QUARTER, FISCAL YEAR RESULTS; Profits are up!

WHAT'S THE BEST PRICING STRATEGY? A new study reveals retailers can increase profits by changing pricing strategies.

THE RETAIL SIDE OF THE STATE OF SCRAPBOOKING; Comments from Scrapbook Updates' readers.

RETAILERS WRITE...About lower prices than Michaels, the cost of services, tourism, and more.

HAS THE ECONOMY STARTED TO RECOVER? HAVE OUR CUSTOMERS? Two economic-savvy industry retailers have some answers.

IS BIGGER BETTER? Bad customer service can drive a customer to drink.

A NEW TYPE OF CRAFT STORE; Catering to the indie crafter.

CHA EVENTS FOR RETAILERS; How to get more out of a trade show besides ordering products.

HOW TO CAPITALIZE ON "STASH CRAFTING"; Enthusiasts have plenty of supplies? Here are ways to boost sales anyway.

A NOVEL WAY TO CHANGE OWNERSHIP; An essay contest for consumers.

SPARK CRAFTS NEEDS A SPARK; A great concept, but...

FOIL THOSE "FIVE FINGERED- DISCOUNTS"! How to guard against shoplifting.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF INDUSTRY CONSUMER SHOWS; Retailers benefit if they participate.

RETAILERS SPEAK OUT! On chain stores' coupons, individual paper vs. pads, offering a slide-scanning service, investing in technology, and how the younger generation thinks.

SCANNING FOR MORE BUSINESS! A simple, profitable service to offer customers.

IT'S TIME TO RE-AWAKEN THE INDUSTRY'S THINKING; Time to embrace new ideas and expand horizons.

HEY CRAFT INDUSTRY...WHERE ARE YOU? Where's the teaching, the inspiration?

WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE SHRINKING ECONOMY? Think outside the box.

UPDATE: HOW CONSUMERS WILL SPEND THEIR REBATES CHECKS; Food and gas inflation is taking its toll.

HOW PRODUCTS SELL...and why you need reexamine your buying habits.

WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER; We may sell different products, but our challenges and strategies are the same.

THE KEYS TO SUCCESS - AND FAILURE; Dreams get you started, but management skills make you profitable.

AN OPEN LETTER TO RETAILERS; Store traffic declines as gas prices rise? Some answers.

INDEPENDENTS RESPOND TO PROVO; To say they're not happy is an understatement.

ADVICE TO RETAILERS; How to keep a genuine enthusiast - and big spender - happy.

HOW ONE INDEPENDENT IS CATERING TO THE "NEW" CONSUMER; She needs motivation and inspiration, not a smiling bunny.

CLN NEWSBRIEFS; May 8 - June 2, 2006.

THE NEW WAL-MART SUPERSTORE; The craft/sewing department remains about the same, with some major exceptions.

REAL ESTATE WOES; How a landlord drove an independent our of business.

WHAT THE INDUSTRY NEEDS; Creativity, common-sense pricing, and much more.

HOW TO DRIVE A RETAILER CRAZY ... And lose a good customer forever.

THE CRAFT INDUSTRY: SLIPPING & SLIDING; The cause? Competitors instead of creativity.

SPARK CRAFT STUDIOS: THE INTERVIEW; This unique store offers food for thought for every retailer, large or small.

MICHAELS VENDOR PARTNER AWARDS; Winners produced better sales, higher margins.

A SCRAPBOOK VENDOR QUITS - WHAT WENT WRONG? Too much product - and loyalty - or too little?

GOOD AND BAD TIMES IN KANSAS CITY; A lesson in civility.

WAL-MART IN THE NEWS - Charity work, legal hassles, an irate ad, and money.

HOT TRENDS AND TRADE SHOWS; Trends change, but the keys to success do not.

MY LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH MICHAELS, PT. II; There's a lot to like, too.

HOW DO WE TURN THIS "CRAFTER" INTO A SCRAPBOOKER?; An essential goal if the scrapbook market is to grow.

RETAILERS RESPOND TO SCRAPBOOK DILEMMA; How to be a merchant, not a missionary.

BUYER'S HORROR STORIES; Vendors: here's what NOT to do at trade shows.

A BUYER'S VIEW OF "CRAFTS"'; A magazine changes, and buyers disagree.

WHY I DON'T STOP AT YOUR BOOTH; Advice on selling chains.

HEY VINNY: DON'T YELL AT ME; I don't make the rules.