The Clarity Blog


The Clarity Blog

Jewelry Store Thefts and Holiday Shopping: 5 Things You Need To Know

on Oct 23, 2018 8:30 AM

theft of ring from jewelry tray

As you prepare to capitalize on the holiday shopping season, don't forget to take caution.

Thieves come out in full force during the holidays. Knowing they can blend in with the rest of us who are seeking a special gift, they're looking to pad their own wallet or collection.

With jewelry store thefts increasing in recent years, your entire staff needs to be extra prepared to prevent crimes that can easily go unnoticed.

Keep these five things in mind as you look to close out a successful year:

1) Jewelry store thefts take numerous forms

When the colloquial term of "theft" is used, most people probably envision grab-and-run or sneak thefts.

Those are two of the most common types of thefts facing jewelers, but criminals don't stop there.

Some thefts are accompanied by an element of distraction, where a coordinated group works together to draw attention away from merchandise being stolen.

While less common, these other types of jewelry store theft still need to be taken seriously:

  • Internal theft
  • Switch theft
  • Credit card fraud
  • Cyber theft

You can add an extra layer of defense against thefts by placing jewelry store security materials around your showcases that let potential thieves know you will only show one item at a time and require an ID.

Order Security Materials

The Jewelers Security Alliance started tracking "cyber-enabled theft by deception" in their 2017 Annual Crime Report, with six cases reported and losses totaling over $7.2 million.

As more consumers use their laptops, tablets, and phones to do their holiday shopping, smart retailers are capitalizing on e-commerce opportunities. The smartest ones also recognize the threat of stolen data and "spear phishing" attacks.

In turn, they are protecting their businesses with new types of cyber liability insurance.

2) The frequency of taking physical inventory matters

Doing a complete reconciliation of your entire inventory isn't feasible during such busy times (and probably only needs to be done annually if you have perpetual jewelry inventory software).

However, daily case counts are essential to control losses during the holiday season.

Counting rings in a tray

The quicker you notice that merchandise has gone missing, the more likely an investigation into the loss will be successful. If you need to submit a claim, you'll also make that process smoother by doing it earlier (bonus tip: keeping good records year-round will help the most).

Here are a few things to keep in mind when conducting case counts:

  • Vary the times of day when the count is done.
  • Have more than one person responsible for conducting the counts in order to avoid internal theft.
  • If it's not possible to monitor every display every day, rotate which ones are observed.
  • Review your surveillance footage on a regular basis to make sure the counts are completed and nothing is missed.

3) An educated staff is the best defense

Whether a criminal plans on attempting a theft, robbery, or burglary, they are likely to case a jewelry business first.

If you don't practice secure selling produces, becoming a theft victim isn't out of the question.

The good news is that educating your staff is easy if you're a Jewelers Mutual customer — all you need to do is have everyone at your business enroll in JM University® and complete the Selling with Security course.

This online resource is the perfect companion to hands-on training because it uses quizzes to test learnings.

4) Hiring extra security can go a long way

In addition to having a well-educated crew of sales associates, security guards are a wise resource to call upon when customer traffic accelerates. 

Security guard on walkie-talkie

There are multiple benefits of having a security guard onsite during your busiest days: 

  • Since associates are constantly balancing sales and security, it can be helpful to have someone focus solely on jewelry store security.
  • The presence of a guard can be enough to discourage many thieves from even considering your business as a target.
  • If a theft is attempted, the guard will be able to handle the situation in a more effective manner than sales associates alone.

5) The likelihood of grab-and-run thefts increases as the day goes on

The most recent JSA Annual Crime Report shows a trend that indicates jewelers needs to be more observant during the evening hours:

2017 JSA Annual Crime Report - Grab-and-runs by hour-of-dayThe tricky part can be staying focused all day long. There's a lot of security procedures to keep in mind to stay safe, and that's on top of all the other business that needs to get done.

For this, it's recommend that jewelry sales associates also complete the A Day in the Life of a Jeweler course on JM University.

It complements Selling With Security because it looks at a broader scope of perils that could interrupt your routine — the last thing you want during a holiday shopping rush.

Enroll in JM University