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Ontario is home to thousands of businesses. From retail stores to vehicle production plants and paper mills, Ontario businesses play an essential role in the Canadian economy. While Ontario’s economy is diverse, all Ontario business owners have one thing in common: they worry about theft.

In 2008, businesses attributed 65% of retail theft to external theft. Although that number fell to 43% in 2012, theft is still a major concern for business owners. And unfortunately, both large and small businesses are subject to theft.

In a previous post, we talked about ways you can safeguard your business. Although we briefly mentioned protecting your business from external threats, you deserve to know more about preventing theft. Read on to learn about nine ways you can protect your business from theft.

1. Provide Great Customer Service

One of the best ways to prevent theft is hiring people with excellent customer service skills. Attentive, caring employees deter shoplifting because they create a friendly environment. Furthermore, people are less likely to steal from businesses where employees have seen and spoken to them.

2. Maintain a Presence on the Property

If you own a home, you might program the lights to come on when you’re away on vacation. This deters thieves because they don’t want to risk being seen committing a crime. The same holds true for your business. The more people feel like someone is watching them, the less likely they are to steal.

This doesn’t mean your employees need to mercilessly stalk everyone who comes through your door. It means your employees should be attentive and acknowledge customers.

No matter how much you want to save money, don’t under-staff your business. This only creates an opportunity for thieves to take advantage of a lack of surveillance.

3. Minimize Blind Spots

While it might be impossible for your employees to see everything that goes on, you can discourage theft by eliminating blind spots. Install security mirrors and surveillance cameras to ensure you can see all parts of your business.

Not only does this help employees monitor the premises, it also discourages would-be thieves. Be sure to install cameras and mirrors in plain sight.

4. Monitor Your Inventory

Use a computerized tracking system to monitor your inventory. This is essential for retail stores and restaurants, but is also a good idea for businesses with any kind of property. Does your business have computers? TV monitors? Construction supplies?

Keep track of your inventory, and maintain a clear idea of your business’s physical assets at all times. By knowing what assets you have, you’ll be able to quickly respond to and assess any discrepancies.

5. Keep Commonly Stolen Items Close to Registers

If you own a retail store or restaurant, place items that are easy or tempting to steal close to registers. This way, employees can see and monitor them.

According to the Retail Council of Canada, the 10 most commonly stolen items are:


Women’s clothing

Cosmetics and fragrances

Health and beauty products, including shampoo, toothpaste, and other toiletries


Food and confectionary items

Men’s clothing



Children’s and baby’s items, including clothing and toys

6. Place Expensive or Embarrassing Items Behind a Lock

It’s not surprising that expensive items, such as jewellery and electronics, are often targeted by thieves. However, thieves also target potentially embarrassing items. These items vary, but could include underwear, condoms, pregnancy tests, or medication.

Keep expensive or embarrassing items in a locked case. That way, customers have to ask an employee for them. Although this doesn’t guarantee a customer won’t run out with the item, it does allow your employees to keep track of inventory.

7. Tag Your Products Electronically

Although electronic tagging is an expense many small businesses choose to forgo, it’s an expense that will protect you in the long run. If someone tries to steal an item, its electronic tag triggers an alarm when it moves through your door.

This saves you money by cutting down on thefts, and also sets a precedent for other customers.

8. Install an Alarm System

An alarm system is essential to any business. You need to know when someone attempts to enter the premises when you’re closed. Invest in a security system that notifies authorities anytime there is a security breach. Also be sure to personally respond to any security alarm. If you are looking to get an alarm system at your business, be sure to contact a trusted Markham locksmith.

9. Invest in Sturdy Locks and Padlocks

Although this seems like common sense, many home and businesses alike aren’t adequately protected from intruders. Many break-ins occur without the use of force. This means that many thieves have easy access to the items they steal.

Talk to a locksmith in Markham about installing sturdy locks and padlocks on your doors. Also consider installing locks on your windows. The harder it is for a thief to gain entrance to your business, the less likely they are to steal your property.

Affordable Lock is a locksmith in Markham serving the Greater Toronto Area, including Scarborough, Aurora, North York, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Stouffville. With over 30 years of experience, we pride ourselves on looking after your commercial or residential locksmith needs. Affordable Lock’s showroom in Markham showcases a wide selection of keys, locks and an assortment of other security products for your home or business. Whether you are looking to upgrade your home or business’s security, or solve security issues, Affordable Lock Services Inc. in Markham is here for you! Give us a call today.


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