Maximising Retail Security: Why Is It Important In 2023
13th August 2020
For the retailer, storefront security is a huge yet challenging priority. Retail stores are facing an increasing need for superior security. Thieves routinely fill their bags with products and exit the store undetected, and the tactics used to accomplish these acts of crime have become increasingly calculated and committed by skilled professionals.
In 2022, the total losses from retail crime were over £780 million; customer theft accounted for £663 million of that total figure – these shocking statistics are bound to make small businesses envy high-quality security solutions. These figures can also suggest that retail outlets need more security.
Further research also implies that being a victim once will significantly increase the likelihood of being victimised again, so to combat this, the retailer must be maximising retail security.
How Can You Prevent Retail Theft?
Your business’ protection depends on proper management of your premises and staff, and a good security strategy, such as hiring SIA licenced security guards, will help to cover this. It is vital that you have procedures and policies in place, below we have listed some methods you can take.
Without training, your staff will be unable to effectively prevent crime or know what to do if criminal activity takes place and is counter-intuitive in maximising retail security. Basic security training will educate them on what to do when they notice suspicious behaviour and how to behave during a robbery.
To ensure that your staff is effective at preventing crime, always schedule a number of employees to work at any one time. Thieves usually target understaffed shops since they know their chance of being caught is slim. Having enough staff in the store will prevent theft as criminals are less likely to target your premises.
Be aware of every possible entrance to your stores, like windows and back doors. Each of these should be properly secured in a bid of maximising retail security.
Consider installing alarms, as triggering the alarm will result in a rapid response from your security provider. Having this system in place will drastically increase the chance of stolen goods being recovered and catching the culprits. Additionally, highlighting the fact you have an intruder alarm with a sign may deter potential thieves from attempting to access your premises.
The use of CCTV is remarkable; you are able to monitor remote parts of your premises from a single location. They also provide you with a way to look back at past footage in order to find whether a crime has been committed and who is responsible.
As well as the strategies mentioned above, keeping your store tidy is essential as you will be able to quickly spot if anything has disappeared. Arrange products, especially items that are stolen regularly, in organised methods that make them visible to you. Furthermore, ask customers to provide a proof of purchase with their returns to prevent people from returning stolen goods, and make sure you display your return policy, so customers know your rules from the get-go.
How Can You Spot A Criminal?
It is vital that you, your colleagues, and the security guards working at your store recognise the signs of criminal activity, so you are able to spot them. A retail security officer’s duties will help them to spot criminals. The best way to spot criminals is to ensure that you keep a watchful eye on people who…
- Avoid eye contact.
- Spend a lot of time glancing toward cashiers/other staff members.
- Enter the store repeatedly without completing a purchase.
- Wear bulky clothing such as jackets or coats, when unnecessary.
- Dawdle in an aisle with a lot of small, concealable items.
What Are Common Shoplifting Techniques?
By understanding the most popular techniques criminals rely on, you and your employees will be able to spot them and alert authorities before anything is stolen.
Drop and Run Technique
This technique involves the thief placing a large open bag at their feet. Multiple items are carefully dropped in the bag, before exiting your shop. The bag is often a rucksack, so look out for shoppers carrying open bags.
A closed umbrella provides the perfect place to conceal unpaid items. Thieves will often hang the umbrella from their arm or lean it on a counter, before discreetly dropping items inside. Keep an eye out for anyone carrying a closed umbrella.
Some shoplifters operate in groups; one member of the group will create a distraction such as faking an illness or dropping a product, while the others use your staff’s lack of attention to steal goods. If an incident occurs in your store, make sure at least one person is keeping an eye elsewhere on your premises.
Furthermore, if you enjoyed learning about maximising retail security, why not watch our Youtube channel for more security tips, tricks and facts, including an informative piece on Why UK Outlets Need More Retail Security.
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