Protect your inventory photoWhether you own a large chain of stores or a single boutique, one of the most difficult parts of managing your own business can be ensuring that your products are safe—from the moment they leave the warehouse to their security while on your premises. As much as we don’t like to think about retail loses due to employee theft or carelessness, that risk remains a reality for all business owners.

According to a 2015 report from the U.S. Retail Fraud Survey, employee theft is the “single biggest cause of loss to retailers,” leading to a $60 billion deficit for business owners across the United States.

Here are five ways that you can ensure the safety of your products, and save your business from unnecessary deficits that result from theft.

  1. Perform background checks on all of your employees. The greatest safety measure you can take is to be sure that you are hiring reliable employees in all areas of your business. Though background checks are not inexpensive, in the long run, they save you money and safeguard your peace of mind.
  1. Install video surveillance to create a greater sense of control and accountability. Employee theft accounts for almost half of retail shrinkage, according to The Small Business Chronicle. Employees have the easiest access to products, as well as to abusing discounts, or mismanaging refunds and credit cards. Video surveillance monitors this activity, and also creates a safer environment for employees by serving as a deterrent to robbery and as a safeguard in the event that something goes wrong.
  1. Hire a licensed, trained security guard to safeguard your property. These store officers can either be plain clothes or uniformed. Uncover agents can be trained to confront and deal with thefts in the moment, and uniformed officers serve as powerful deterrents to would-be thieves. According to About Money, customer theft accounts for a large amount of retail loss annually. Having a security guard on site can greatly reduce deficits incurred from shoplifting.
  1. Keep detailed and accurate records of your inventory, its movement, and the individuals who manage the products. Taking the time to record your inventory’s movement and progression is simply just good business sense, and it also allows you to notice almost immediately when a significant and unexplained loss occurs, and to then take quick and decisive action to prevent these losses from happening again.
  1. Retain a theft prevention expert to evaluate the security of your inventory from start to finish. A trained professional can help you identify efficiencies, anticipate potential pitfalls, and ultimately develop an effective strategy to eliminate unnecessary risks and employ best practices moving forward.

To protect your assets, it pays to devise a comprehensive plan, to continue to monitor your processes, and to put in place the security measures that will lead to greater profit by protecting what is most valuable to you at all times.

Echelon Protection & Surveillance can assist you in addressing your retail loss prevention needs and work to develop a security plan designed to categorically deal with internal and external retail theft. We employ a variety of solutions to protect your bottom line while addressing your budgetary concerns.


  1. S. Retail Fraud Survey:
  2. The Small Business Chronicle:
  3. About Money: