Neil Matthews, vice president at Checkpoint Systems.\r\n\r\nThe most romantic day of the year is almost upon us. Jewellers up and down the country are preparing themselves for the inevitable customer surge, having made sure extra stock has been ordered and amorous displays are ready for business.\r\n\r\nValentine\u2019s, despite being the official \u2018hallmark\u2019 day of love, and a highly important date in most couple\u2019s calendars, is, unbeknown to many, also a busy period in a shoplifter\u2019s diary.\r\n\r\nAs over-stretched staff tend to the increased volume of customers and stores are busier than ever, the run up to hectic periods such as Valentine\u2019s Day will always spell opportunity for both the opportunist and the organised shoplifter \u2013 and sadly losses for the jeweller.\r\n\r\nThankfully, there are a number of precautions storeowners can take prior to busy periods to minimise the impact of theft, and reduce the frequency of these offences occurring.\r\n\r\nAs Valentine\u2019s Day approaches, we often see more and more merchandise going out on display. This is great news for the consumer, who wants to physically examine a product before making a purchase, but it\u2019s also handy for the shoplifter looking for an opportunity to steal. Fortunately there are solutions available that allow stores to keep products on open display, without compromising the customer experience, or risking the losses associated with shrinkage.\r\n\r\nA number of security tags have been developed specifically to target loss prevention within the jewellery sector and improve merchandise availability. These range from virtually invisible devices that attach directly onto loose jewellery items, and hidden under floor antennas, to more intentionally obvious tags that involve attaching the security device to both the jewellery item and the packaging. This prevents thieves from separating items from display cards without causing damage to the product itself, reducing the incentive to steal.\r\n\r\nIn addition to physical deterrents, there are also as number of potentially underestimated techniques that can be easily implemented onto any shop floor, and are of minimal cost.\r\n\r\nStoreowners need to ensure that all staff members are well informed on the threat of shoplifting and the best methods of prevention. This can be done through the implementation of an overall company anti-theft culture, or even through simple but effective in-house training. Having a whole team on board can make technology solutions much more valuable.\r\n\r\nThese are just a small handful of the many preventive measures jewellers can take in the run up to Valentine\u2019s Day. However, when it comes to theft prevention, security solutions should be used all year round, not just when the diary says so.