The Grapevine

Retail Wine Business – Minimizing Theft Without Overdoing It

August 13th, 2013

You are going to lose some inventory to theft, whether shoplifting or staff. There’s simply no way around it no matter how tight a ship you run. How can you minimize the damage? Here are some ideas. [level-members]

Top of the list is a solid inventory system. If you don’t know what you have, you can’t know what you’ve lost. Depending on the size of your operation, that might mean a basic ledger that you check on a daily basis, or a computerized PoS system that tracks sales and inventory in real time.

Beyond that, it does get trickier. Cameras may keep your employees honest, or it may just alienate them. It’s all in how you talk about how they’ll be used. Putting higher-value items under lock and key, or even in less accessible spots, is hardly welcoming, and treating the 90%+ of your clientele like criminals or children is a bad way to deal with the few bad eggs.

We recommend tracking your losses as closely as you can and building that shrinkage into your pricing. Yes, it’s unfair that all of your customers pay for the bad few, but that is preferable to driving them – and good employees – away with a police-state mentality. [/level-members]