Selling wine can be a blast. And seeing a favorite customer walk through the door can make one's day. But one type of "customer" takes their purchasing to a different level - those who decide they deserve a bottle (or two) of wine without actually paying for it.
The damage done to a store's bottom line by theft of product is significant! The cost of that merchandise comes out profits, and for most retail stores this means that it takes two bottles sold just to break even with the cost of one bottle stolen. For this reason alone, a security system of some kind will usually, over time, pay for itself.
Security systems usually consist of one or more cameras positioned throughout the store recording constantly. You will want to position your cameras in areas that are not normally visible by staff and/or in areas where more "thief-friendly" merchandise is stored or displayed. Thief-friendly merchandise is a product that isn't necessarily more valuable but that is more easily removed off your shelf without being noticed. In a wine shop this typically means smaller sized bottles. Half bottles and splits are easily placed inside a purse or a previously paid shopping bag. So you will definitely want to have one of your cameras positioned in an area where these smaller bottles are displayed.
you never know who it might be...
When you have a rash of bottles missing over a short period of time it's crucial that you find the culprit as soon as possible. Some of your thieves can themselves be great connoisseurs of wine, and have long figured out that they can expand their cellar back home if they no longer need to worry about a spending budget. In this respect, the sooner you can determine that a bottle is missing the more likely you can zoom in on the thief using one of your cameras recordings.
If, after all this, you cannot determine a responsible culprit it is possible that it may be a member of your staff! Your employees are well aware of your camera locations and usually know how to get around any security system. Because of this, I always had one camera positioned without the staff's knowledge. This camera was usually placed where the truly valuable wines were stored.
If you do find a thief, notify your local law enforcement. They'll come in and want to look at any camera recordings that you have. In most cases, the officer will say something along the lines, "Oh yeah, this guy. He's been stealing stuff all over town." At least now, with your recording, you have something to prosecute with.
They say that location in retail is everything. Trust me - you do NOT want your location to become known as the easiest mark in town. And if you don't think that thieves talk among themselves... guess again!
Best regards, Liam