The good news is that you don’t have to accept a high rate of shrinkage as a cost of doing business. You can fight back by leveraging technology solutions designed for liquor store loss prevention and keep inventory on the shelves and cash the till where they belong.
Point of Sale
Your point of sale (POS) system is constantly collecting valuable data that can reveal where shrinkage and loss are occurring. For example, your POS system can shed light on losses from employee theft, such as voiding or discounting transactions and keeping the cash. Use POS reports to monitor employee activity, evaluating individual employee activity for excessive voids or returns. More importantly, a state-of-the-art POS system empowers you to prevent employee theft at the POS with access control features. Grant employees access to only the POS functions necessary to do their jobs and require manager approval for transactions that put your business at risk for loss.
Retailers often use video surveillance as a liquor store loss prevention tool. With video cameras, you can monitor blind spots and provide your security staff and law enforcement authorities with evidence that a crime has been committed in your store. Also, if shoplifters see cameras, they are less likely to steal—this includes keeping employees honest in the stockroom. Moreover, cameras are always on, so even if your staff isn’t looking, the cameras are.
Video surveillance can provide additional data when used along with your POS system. By comparing time on the video to the time of transactions, you can pinpoint transactions that resulted in theft and loss. Video can show if an employee is passing merchandise through without ringing it up or if the cash tendered is inadequate to cover the items sold.
For your most costly merchandise, you may want to consider using an RFID theft prevention system. When using this type of solution for liquor store loss prevention, RFID tags are used on the items, and if they pass by an RFID reader, usually installed near the door, an alarm sounds. The visible tags may also be a deterrent to shoplifting and employee theft.
In addition to deterring theft and shoplifting, liquor store loss prevention includes staying in compliance with strict liquor control laws so you don’t incur fines and downtime due to non-compliance. Shoplifting represents loss—perhaps up to a few hundred dollars at a time for an expensive bottle of spirits—but the penalties for not complying with liquor laws can total thousands of dollars and include mandatory store closings. In addition to facilitating required inventory monitoring and reporting, your POS system can also help you comply with age verification laws. A POS system designed specifically for your industry will include prompts that require checking or scanning ID to ensure the customer is of legal age to make an alcohol purchase. ,/p>
Don’t Forget Low-Tech Strategies
When establishing your liquor store loss prevention strategy, also remember to include a low-tech, but valuable, resource: people. Develop good relationships with local authorities and ask them how you can be proactive to prevent theft and how to respond if it occurs. Also train your trusted employees to guard against shoplifting—for example, pulling bottles to the front of the shelf to see if one is missing and to arrange high-theft items in visible locations. The smart strategy is a combination of vigilant human resources and technology solutions designed to minimize loss.