Santa Fe Springs, CA—Extra traffic, added inventory, and frequent transactions are all great for business this holiday season. But they’re also prime opportunities for sticky-fingered thieves to pick off high-end jewelry retailers.
An influx of shoppers and high demand for service can cause sales associates to multitask and become distracted when handling merchandise. Less-experienced temporary employees hired during the holidays are especially vulnerable to criminals—or might be light-fingered themselves.
But you don’t have to give thieves free reign. Because most jewelry store thefts involve removing merchandise from showcases, Senseon Secure Access recommends both refreshing even seasoned employees about the basics of security and adopting new technologies and better practices that go beyond surveillance and alarms.
That entails paying Scrooge-like attention to every piece of jewelry kept in a display case and/or shown to shoppers. Enhancing both the locking systems for cases and how sales associates handle merchandise deprives criminals of opportunities to steal.
Jewelers must be proactive, as retail jewelry theft is increasing. Crimes committed against U.S. jewelers reported to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance increased to 1,245 in 2016, up 5.8% from 2015. Dollar losses also rose to $72.4 million, up 4.5% in that same time frame. Unfortunately, violence and guns also are becoming more common in jewelry-store robberies.
Senseon advises taking these five steps to show thieves the door:
1. Put technology to work. Add smash-proof glass; employ auto-relocking showcase doors and cabinet drawers; and install an access control system that eliminates metal keys, visible locks, keyholes and key management issues.
2. Track inventory. Use small radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and etch information on jewelry to monitor its movement by salespeople. Inventory every piece of merchandise at day’s end, and shut down stores if any items are missing.
3. Empty your cases. Remove all merchandise from display cases overnight. The alternative of leaving cases stocked and draping them is a foolish giveaway.
4. Require employee vigilance. Provide extra incentives for employee vigilance. By doing so, you will promote a culture of honesty and transparency.
5. Enhance training. Train temporary employees and retrain permanent employees—even longtime employees—about both the need to be mindful and alert at all times and ways to do it.
Taking these actions will bring benefits that transcend loss prevention efforts and contribute to streamlined operations and increased profits. A seamless security system and best employee practices also will improve the customer experience and boost productivity. In addition, hiding locks and eliminating keyholes will help you elevate aesthetics. The result? An especially happy holiday season and a promising new year.
About Centurion Jewelry
Centurion Jewelry is the organizer of the Centurion trade shows and an online information hub and for prestige jewelers. Centurion Jewelry offers subscribers the latest information on trends in the jewelry industry.