For the retailer, storefront security is a huge yet challenging priority. Retail stores are facing 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 2019, the total losses from retail crime was over £700 million; shoplifting accounted for £500 million of that total figure – these shocking statistics are bound to make small businesses envy high-quality security solutions. Research also implies that being a victim once will significantly increase the likelihood of being victimised again, so to combat this, the retailer must maximize storefront security solutions.

How can you prevent retail theft?

Your business’ protection depends on proper management of your premises and staff, and a good security strategy will help to cover this; it is vital that you have procedures and policies in place…

Effective Training

Without training, your staff will be unable to effectively prevent crime or know what to do if criminal activity takes place. Basic security training will educate them on what to do when they notice suspicious behaviour and how to behave during a robbery.

Proper Staffing

To ensure that your staff are 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.

Access Points

Be aware of every possible entrance to your store, like windows and back doors. Each of these should be properly secured.


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.

CCTV Cameras

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 and your colleagues recognise the signs of criminal activity, so you are able to spot it. Ensure you keep a watchful eye on people who…

  • Avoid eye contact.
  • Spend a lot of time glancing towards 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.

Umbrella Technique

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.

Distraction Technique

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.

Ensuring you have a robust security solution in place from an expert retail security company is the only way you can keep your stock from the hands of thieves and vandals. Region Security Guarding has a range of retail security solutions to make sure you are never the victim. A retail security guard on duty will enable shoppers to feel safe with a visual presence and theft will drop immediately. All of our professional security personnel have undergone rigorous background checks and hold an individual SIA qualified license.

Interested in our Retail Security Services? Click here to request a FREE quote.

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