Being a loss prevention manager at any beauty retail store is complicated and constantly evolving, trying to learn new ways to catch you in the act of theft.
These teams set strategies on ways to protect assets of the business to reduce the amount of shortage in their store. Each store is monitored closely by higher ranks in the corporate level.
It’s a serious department to go into, and not the kind of situation you’ll want to find yourself on the other side of. If you don’t shoplift, you’re making their lives easier and manageable.
But if you’re ever tempted to steal that lip gloss, thinking it might not hurt anyone, you’re wrong and putting yourself in danger of breaking the law.
During my time working at Ulta Beauty, we were constantly on the look-out for customers who acted a little too suspicious. We set up code words for customers and locations throughout the store to make it easier to track thieves.
At Ulta, a part of our uniform is a head-set to be able to talk to other employees and stay updated on where they’re going and who to look out for. Huge signs of theft include customers who carry an over-sized bag with them.
I mean, is it really necessary to carry a bag as big as luggage around with you? Not to mention if the bag’s zipper is open: that gives thieves a better chance to just drop the products in their bags quickly and quietly.
Don’t be fooled; managers are always one step ahead of you. When we see a customer looking up, down and all around, we can sense you want to know if anyone is watching you.
And you’re right; we are watching you, from behind the cameras in the office. Beauty retail stores are equipped with rooms filled with computers and screens set to watch anyone who sets foot in the building 24/7.
This is imperative because we’re allowed to use these video tapes as evidence in court if you are charged with theft. Bottom line, someone is always watching you.
If you do happen to steal and get away with it at the moment, these cameras are able to track you in the parking lot, and employees are required to write your license plate down and call the police after. So, if you think you actually got away with it, you won’t be happy for long.
Finally, whether managers catch you red-handed at the scene, or let you walk away before they call the police, they have pictures of you now on file. These pictures are sent out to other local beauty retail stores within regions of the state to alert others that a potential thief is on the loose. Your picture stays posted on the wall for months at a time in the employee back room, and, trust me, it is super embarrassing to know someone on that wall.
Sadly, it happens all too often, and those who are caught are asked to never set foot in the store again. That’s a nightmare for most, but one you can easily avoid.
Shoplifting puts a damper on everyone, especially for cosmetic brands who ultimately reduce their amount of products on the retail shelf in hopes of less theft.
This makes it harder for customers who are continuously told certain products are sold out and won’t be restocked until next week – the real issue is that companies just don’t want their products stolen, so they limit the amount of products sold to us every month.
Do us a favor and don’t be that person. It can change your life forever and it’ll suck trying to find a beauty retail chain that doesn’t already know who you are by the time you set foot in their store.