Wellington’s retailers band together to stop Christmas thieves

Christmas is a hectic time of year for many, but perhaps no-one finds themselves under the pump during the silly season more than retailers. As the big day approaches, and throngs of frantic shoppers begin to flood into stores looking for that elusive last-minute gift retailers know they’re likely to lose stock to theft.

In Wellington, however, cautious retailers fed up with increased shoplifting occurrences in the busy Christmas period are banding together to combat the problem in the capital's CBD. 

It's called Eyes On, a theft prevention and safety initiative involving over 250 inner city businesses, the New Zealand Police and Wellington City Council. Even at this early stage, the Eyes On initiative appears to be making a difference, with Sergeant Matthew McKenzie of Wellington police telling Stuff.co.nz they are already seeing positive signs leading into the festive period. 

"We're expecting to see the benefits from extensive training and communications that have helped retailers understand how best to mitigate risks from shoplifting in their stores," Sergeant McKenzie said.

 

How big is the problem?

The NZ Herald reported in September 2015 that shoplifting was costing the nation's retailers $1.2 billion annually, a troubling amount to be essentially walking out the door in the pockets of criminals.

Having a good material damage insurance solution in place is an important loss-protection step for any company.  For retailers though, excesses for theft can be $2,500 or more meaning only larger scale theft incidents are claimed on. 

Through the Eyes On initiative, Wellington business owners are using collaboration to combat the troubling shoplifting statistics. Speaking to Inside Retail, First Retail Group's Lorraine Nicholson says that the festive spirit is making a big impression.

"We've been delighted with the way business owners have begun helping each other, reconnecting with neighbours and involving themselves in the program," she commented.

 

What can retailers do?

When you're looking to address shoplifting on a daily basis, there are a number of small changes you can implement, such as:

  • Optimise your layout to maximise visibility in all parts of the store.
  • Bring on extra staff in the lead up to Christmas, to circulate the store and keep an eye on things.
  • Install anti-shoplifting signs to discourage sticky-fingered patrons - if they think they're being monitored they're less likely to steal.
  • Install additional security cameras - even dummy cameras can make a difference.
  • Consider bringing in a bag check policy.

 

Shoplifting in the retail industry is a source of much frustration, business assets insurance can help cover larger scale losses, but a few simple crime prevention steps are also worthwhile having in place to reduce your risk of theft.


Allan Henderson

About the Author

Name: Allan Henderson        

I’m the Leader - Business Development & Sales for Rothbury’s Wellington branch. I have over 20 years experience in the insurance industry and get a kick out of finding insurance solutions for my clients.

I enjoy leading and…
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I’m the Leader - Business Development & Sales for Rothbury’s Wellington branch. I have over 20 years experience in the insurance industry and get a kick out of finding insurance solutions for my clients.

I enjoy leading and developing people (including my 3 children although they may not appreciate my leadership skills at times – or ever for that matter) and am part of a really experienced team who have a lot of fun here in Wellington.

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Disclaimer: The articles published on this blog are designed to provide general information and do not take into account any individual’s particular circumstances. We recommend that you obtain professional advice on your requirements before making any decision about a financial product.

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