How to Prevent Shoplifting in Supermarkets This 4th of July
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Beer and BBQ: How to Prevent Shoplifting in Supermarkets this 4th of July

Date: Jun 28 2024
Read Time: 7 minutes

The 4th of July is just around the corner and Americans are hitting the shops. With nearly 75% of the country planning on celebrating Independence Day, retailers expect to see a major spike in sales. This period of holiday shopping brings increased sales and higher foot traffic, which can increase the risk of retail theft.

We’re going to reveal some fun facts about this major holiday, targeted items for retail theft leading up to the 4th, and how to protect them with anti-theft retail security devices from InVue.

4th of July Fun Facts and Retail Shopping Trends

Fourth of July Food

In 2023, Americans spent a lot of money on holiday festivities – $15.8 billion to be exact. That number isn’t likely to go down. Here’s some interesting statistics about shopping trends and popular items to celebrate one of America’s favorite holidays:

  • Americans spent over $13 billion on food and beverages alone for the holiday in 2023.
  • Grocery stores and big-box retailers will see the biggest hike in sales.
  • Nearly 63% of shoppers plan on shopping at their local grocery store.
  • Hot dogs and beer are the most popular items (an estimated 150 million hot dogs are eaten on 4th of July; that’s nearly 1737 hot dogs every second!).
  • Independence Day is the most lucrative day for alcohol brands.
  • Americans spent over $2 billion on fireworks in 2022.

How the Holiday Season Can Encourage Stealing

Unfortunately, we can’t pinpoint how much merchandise is stolen on any given holiday due to differences in reporting and classifications of crime, but it’s safe to assume it’s a given in the retail industry. With headlines like these: Daring firework heist: $42K in pyrotechnics stolen from Cartersville store from just a few weeks ago, it’s no wonder retail stores are feeling the pressure to secure their products. Here are some reasons stores may experience increases in shoplifting:

1. The Amazon Prime Day Effect: Amazon Prime Day takes place less than two weeks after Independence Day. It can encourage organized retail theft. Crime rings stock up on products they can quickly get rid of online by capitalizing on the buzz centered around Prime Day. Prime Day has become so popular it’s almost considered a major holiday with sales reaching $12.9 billion globally in 2023.

2. Increased Foot Traffic: With more people out and about, both honest shoppers and potential thieves mingle in retail environments. The sheer volume of customers inside a retail store at any given time can overwhelm store staff, making it easier for a would-be thief to blend.

3. High-Value Targets: Certain items become hot commodities during the Fourth of July period. From portable grills and coolers to patriotic apparel and outdoor recreation gear, these products are not only popular but also can be quite expensive, making them prime targets for theft.

4. Reduced Staffing: Many businesses experience staffing shortages as employees take time off for vacations and holidays. A reduction in personnel on the sales floor can create gaps in surveillance and response times that shoplifters can easily take advantage of.

5. Having an Unorganized Store: A messy store creates opportunities for shoplifters, making it easier for them to steal items without being noticed. Keeping the store tidy is crucial to prevent theft and identify missing products easily.

Popular Items for Theft This Holiday Season

Grills on Display for Sale

As the Fourth of July celebrations heat up, so does the concern for retail theft. Here’s a look at some of the most coveted items that shoplifters target during this bustling holiday:

  • Outdoor Gear: Items like grills, portable coolers, and outdoor furniture see an increase in sales as people head outside for backyard cookouts and fireworks displays.
  • Patriotic Merchandise: Anything bearing the stars and stripes, from apparel to decorations, sees increased demand and concerns of theft.
  • Electronics: Portable speakers, cameras, and smartphones are not only high in value but also easy to grab and conceal.
  • Alcohol: With summer parties in full swing, stolen alcohol becomes increasingly common. The 4th of July is the biggest holiday for off-site alcohol consumption, meaning more people are enjoying drinks at home or outside vs a bar or restaurant.
  • Meat: Different cuts of meat have always been among the most popular items for theft in a grocery store due to their high price. In 2023, over 65% of people celebrated by hosting or attending an outdoor cookout or picnic, making meat products a popular choice. Since these items don’t typically have anti-theft devices attached to them, a pack of franks is easy to slip into a bag undetected.

Shoplifting incidents during the 4th of July significantly impact the availability and security of these popular items, leading to increased security measures and inventory management challenges for retailers.

7 Strategies to Prevent Shoplifting this 4th of July

1. Enhance Staff Vigilance: Train employees to identify suspicious behavior, such as excessive browsing, bulky clothing in warm weather, or attempts to avoid eye contact. This can help deter would-be thieves by making them aware that they are being watched.

2. Deploy Anti-Theft Solutions: Utilize tools like security tags, electronic article surveillance (EAS), and security cameras strategically placed to cover blind spots. These measures not only help in monitoring the store but also provide evidence for prosecution if needed.

3. Increase Customer Engagement: Good customer service is a low-cost way to deter theft. Greet customers upon entry to signal attentiveness and stop thieves who may not strike if they feel watched.

4. Maintain an Organized Store: An organized store promotes safety and can help prevent theft by making it easier for employees to notice missing items.

5. Considering Contracting Security Guards: During the holiday season, consider adding a security guard or more staff on the floor to enhance security. This can be an effective measure to prevent and deter shoplifters. Ensure staff and guards know when to involve local police.

6. Optimize Inventory Management and Store Layout: Conduct regular inventory checks to detect discrepancies early and prevent losses. Additionally, optimize the store’s layout to increase visibility, eliminate blind spots, and strategically place customer checkouts to spot shoplifters.

7. Secure High-Value Items with InVue: Specialized security devices are worth investing in. They’re critical year-round and provide protection for more than just seasonal items.

  • Cable Locks: Ideal for items like outdoor grills, patio furniture and electronics, these locks cannot be easily defeated and are equipped with EAS technology to trigger alarms.

  • Cable Lock Anchor: A versatile solution for securing items to fixtures, preventing unauthorized removal and triggering alarms if tampered with.

  • Merchandise Display Solutions: Protect high-demand items like Bluetooth speakers and sunglasses with secure display options that allow visibility while deterring theft.

  • Smart Locks: Ensure secure access to popular yet potentially dangerous seasonal goods like fireworks, providing a frictionless experience for customers and robust security features.

  • OneKEY Bottle Cap: Prevent on-site consumption and theft of spirits with the OneKEY Bottle Cap. It’s the only bottle security solution that can’t be defeated by magnets.

  • Package Wrap: Popular packaged goods like portable fans, or boxed décor will be protected by an innovative enhancement to a traditional spider wrap that can’t be defeated by magnets.

As you prepare for the holiday rush, safeguard your merchandise and enhance customer safety with InVue’s innovative anti-theft solutions.

Contact InVue today to learn more about how our products can help you prevent losses and create a secure shopping experience during this festive season.