Retailers across all industries lose money to shrinkage. This ongoing situation is why stock loss prevention in retail is an essential component for businesses of all sizes. Learning how your company defines shrinkage and discovering where the losses occur can lead you towards a solution that will protect and grow your profits. 

Stock Loss Prevention in Retail is an Essential Business Element 

Retail loss (also known as shrink/shrinkage) includes shoplifting, customer returns fraud, employee theft, and inventory mistakes. Loss prevention strategies help companies of all sizes reduce their losses and protect their business. 

Determining Your Goal of Stock Loss Prevention 

While the purpose of loss prevention is to prevent shrinkage, you’ll need to determine what your business loss prevention goals are before moving forward with a plan. For example:

  • Where is the highest area of loss for your business?
  • Do you want to minimize and prevent theft? 
  • Do you want to maintain a positive shopping environment for your customers?
  • Are you ready to make a long-term investment or start smaller then grow your loss prevention strategy?

Answering those above questions will help lead you in the right direction towards understanding your goals and the strategy that will help you. 

4 Strategies for Small to Medium-Sized Retailers 

Whether you’re new to loss prevention or you’re already familiar with its value, you can always start small and expand as your business grows. Below are some solutions, their purpose, associated costs, and potential ROI.

#1 EAS System


An electronic article surveillance (EAS) system alerts staff when someone attempts to leave the store with unpaid merchandise. An EAS system can also work as an inventory management system to ensure accurate inventory data and reduce staff time inventorying merchandise. You can select a system that uses AM, RF, or RFID technology. 

Associated Costs

  • Initial cost
  • Installation and setup cost
  • System maintenance costs
  • Running costs (i.e., electricity)

Expected ROI: 

Many retailers will see a loss reduction of 60-80%. 

Other benefits include:

  • Quick turnaround time to see results of effectiveness 
  • System lifespan of 10-15 years
  • Maintain correct inventory numbers, so customer items are readily available
  • Less employee time spent on:
    • Locking away products and unlocking them for purchase
    • Constantly monitoring customers instead of taking care of other tasks

#2 Benefit Denial Products 


Benefits denial security products leave merchandise useless and destroyed if removed without the proper device. They can be used on their own or incorporated with an EAS system. 

Typical benefit denial devices include:

  • Beverage security
  • Ink pins
  • Ink tags
  • Security labels
  • Tamper-proof labels 

Associated Costs

  • Initial purchase cost
  • Buy what you need
  • Depending on the style, some minimum sized orders may be required 
  • Employee training time to learn how to attach and remove the device 
  • Little to no ongoing costs 

Expected ROI

  • Some styles have been reusable for several years 
  • Quick attachment and removal for employees 
  • Maintains open display 
  • Doesn’t interfere with the shopping experience 

#3 Intelligent Fixtures 


Allows you to openly display merchandise and customers can access the product themselves. You can use these devices to protect health and beauty items, batteries, laundry detergent, and more. There are a variety of intelligent fixtures available, including:

  • Infant formula-specific fixtures
  • Anti Sweep Shelving Fixtures: The Swing Gate
  • Time-delay fixtures

Associated Costs

  • Initial cost
  • Potential installation and setup cost (some fixtures can be self-installed)
  • Employee time to learn the new system 
  • Running costs (i.e., electricity)
  • Minimum ongoing costs 

Expected ROI

  • Decreases theft by using a strong visual deterrent
  • Difficult to access multiple products at once  
  • Instant notification when someone opens the door (available with some smart fixtures) 

#4 Reusable Loss Prevention Security Devices  


Loss prevention products make it challenging for someone to pick up an item then remove the security device while in the store. Which makes these products a strong visual deterrent for thieves. Many of these devices can be used independently or combined with an EAS system for higher security. 

Associated Costs

  • Initial purchase cost
  • Only purchase what you need
    • Depending on the style, some minimum sized orders may be required 
  • Employee training time 
  • No ongoing costs 

Expected ROI

  • Reusable for up to 10+ years 
  • Simple instruction for attaching and removing the lock
  • Many devices are interchangeable with similar sized products 
  • Maintains open display 
  • Won’t interfere with the customer’s shopping experience 

Download Your Loss Prevention Checklist Today

At Product Protection Solutions (PPS), we created a loss prevention checklist for small to medium-sized retailers to help you guard your business against internal to external losses. Download your printable list to learn more about cash handling procedures, internal loss prevention policies, physical location security measures, and more.

Find out how the PPS team can help you prevent theft and achieve your loss prevention goals by contacting us online or by phone at 866-750-5744.