The 5 Principles of Loss Prevention & Why It Matters

According to the 2022 National Retail Security Survey, retail shrinkage accounted for $94.5 billion in losses in 2021, which is up from $90.8 billion in 2020. Organised retail crime is a growing challenge both for retailers and the industry at large, and as a store owner, it’s important to know how to protect your business from losses, whether they  come in the form of stolen merchandise, fraud, employee theft, or unforeseen factors. 

While some loss prevention measures can be more intensive than others, one thing is clear: investing time and money into such measures pays off. Not only does focusing on retail security ensure the safety of your inventory and profits, but also keeps customers satisfied with their experiences.

As Canada’s more prominent retail security company, Blackbird Security has the key strategy to reducing your shrink and saving your business money. In this post, we will discuss five key principles for successful loss prevention and why they matter for any storefront.

Prevention & Deterrent 

The first principle in loss prevention and retail security is to implement strategies that will effectively prevent losses within your store. We have found that the most effective prevention strategy for our clients has been to deploy uniformed guards and tactical guards stationed at the front of their business, acting as a visual deterrent against potential thieves and vagrants.

With a strong and clear security presence at your business, vagrants will often decide to redirect their efforts to a “easier” unguarded target. In addition to these prevention techniques are to develop and enforce store policies on employee theft and fraud, and to secure your shop with surveillance cameras, alarms, and access control systems. 


The next principle in effective loss prevention is awareness; creating an understanding about retail security measures in your store is critical. You can do this by regularly communicating initiatives with staff members, and by posting signs that remind customers that shoplifting is illegal and subject to prosecution.

A particularly successful measure is to hire uniformed guards, or undercover specialists, who will be able to monitor for suspicious activity. Store staff are encouraged to share common store issues with the security team, such as which items are usually targeted, common perpetrators, or suspicious behaviour. The more our security team members are aware of, the more likely they are to help prevent or stop theft in your store. 


Another important principle is to ensure that you and your employees follow all established loss prevention measures and that loss prevention strategies are implemented for  both an external and internal perspective . 

Unfortunately, 22% of businesses experience employee shoplifting, therefore, it has become increasingly common for retail stores to implement bag checks of their employees when leaving their shift to ensure compliance with loss prevention measures. This is a process that can be managed by a uniform security professional, to ensure the process is kept impartial and professional. 

By consistently enforcing these rules among all staff members, you can lead by example to foster a culture of compliance within the workplace.


When it comes to the principle of detection for retail security and loss prevention, there are various tools you can use to discover theft, fraud, and other risks. This could include the use of security cameras and CCTV surveillance systems to monitor your store, or conducting routine inventory audits to identify possible missing merchandise. It also wouldn’t hurt to set up real-time alerts to draw attention to inventory discrepancies through your point-of-sale system.

While CCTV monitoring is a great tool for identifying that theft occurred, it’s not the most effective method in stopping theft in its tracks. The following security professionals are all trained and experienced in detecting common signs and behaviours of theft and tactically recovering the product before it’s considered a loss: 

Identification & Analysis  

When a security issue occurs, it’s important to investigate the problem, so that you can identify the source of the loss, and resolve the conflict as quickly as possible. To investigate, identify, analyse and resolve the loss, we integrate security software, TrackTik into all our security solutions. 

TrackTik is the industry leading security software that includes in-time reports and analytics that allows you to review trends of security concerns and allows us to pivot your customised security plan to target any weak spots or times, ensuring you see results. 

Keep Your Retail Business Safe & Secure

With these five principles of loss prevention in mind, investing time and resources into protecting your business is a crucial task. The team at Blackbird will develop a customised plan that will help keep your store - and your assets - safe and secure. In addition to retail security, our team also provides the following services:

At Blackbird Security, our skills, training, and comprehensive plans have made us Canada's number-one provider of uniformed security, foot patrol, and more! Contact Blackbird today to get started with building a secure foundation for your business and beyond!

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