Retail Security Officer Duties

Written by Nyah Mallen

21st December 2020

The demand for retail security services continues to grow alongside the increasing crime rate, but for good reason. In a study published by College Police UK, having CCTV systems that are actively monitored by retail security guards was shown to decrease crime by more than 15% when compared to standalone surveillance systems.

Retail security guards primarily operate to prevent theft. This is typically achieved by keeping a vigil watch over customers who enter the store, and seeing if they display any suspicious behaviours. Of course, there are many other retail security officer duties and responsibilities, which each play an integral role in becoming a successful and effective guard.

Are you curious to learn about the duties of a retail security officer? In this article, we’ll explore the different responsibilities and jobs they are expected to perform.

Duties Of A Retail Security Officer

Below is a list that talks through some of the most common responsibilities of retail security officers.

Patrol Retail Store Premises

Retail security duties often involve patrolling the premises you’ve been assigned to, as it plays a vital role in the site’s security. It is a crucial method for spotting signs of any trespassing or possible criminal activity, and additionally helps in the prevention of it, too. Patrolling retail store premises also aids in safeguarding the site from shoplifting, fires, theft, vandalism or other harmful security threats.

Investigate Disturbances

Retail security officer duties also involve investigating any signs of disorder they may have picked up on within the store property. Additionally, it is also their responsibility to answer any alarms which are triggered to call for help. Being able to observe, identify and look into possible disturbances – as well as resolve them where necessary – is all part of a retail security guard’s job.

Monitor Retail Store Access Points

Assigning a retail security officer to monitor entry and exit points can play a substantial role in the prevention of security risks from affecting the business. Not only can it be used as a way to authorise the entries and exits of customers and employees, but also as another layer of security in monitoring for attempted shoplifting.

retail security officer duties

Call Help In Emergency Situations

Not only is it within the duties of a retail security officer to guard the store, but also to contact the appropriate emergency services as and when required. Additionally, guards can be expected to use fire extinguishers in the event of a fire.

Whether dealing with unlawful entries, vandalism, shoplifting or another vein of emergency, retail security officers need to know the steps to take to look for help.

Support Customer Service Roles

When stationed at a retail outlet, it also falls upon a security officer to make rounds amongst the patrons and visitors who enter the store – and employees– to ensure everything is running smoothly. During the time spent circulating, rules and regulations can be enforced to improve the safeguarding of both the business and the people. Time can also be taken to ensure that everything is alright, and customers are happy – if not, it can be taken as an opportunity to step in and provide guidance where needed.

Operate Theft-Detecting Devices

It is important to be able to correctly handle theft-detecting technologies, as well. Having the ability to operate and upkeep devices that can be used to screen store personnel and visitors to help prevent prohibited articles from getting onto the premises. They can also reduce the likelihood of thieves from successfully shoplifting, detecting stolen items as they pass through.

retail security duties

Dealing With Large Crowds

Large crowd handling is one of the essential retail security officer duties and must be done. Being able to effectively navigate and manage large crowds is vital in the event of an emergency.

A critical skill is being able to identify faces amongst crowds in order to lower the risk of shoplifting getaways or de-escalating violent situations. Especially given that there are always people entering and exiting the store – rarely is it ever static.

Building Customer Relations

Something you might not have expected to be important, or part of a security guard’s responsibilities, is keeping good customer rapport. Since retail security officers integrate into the retail environment, they must balance their security duties with a sociable demeanour.

Stepping up to greet and direct customers as they enter the property can be a fantastic step towards building up a positive reputation. As an added benefit, shoppers are more likely to report suspicious activity to a guard they feel is friendly and receptive. Alternatively, robbers and shoplifters are less likely to try anything if they see guards actively engaging with people in the store.

Operating CCTV Systems

Given the scale that retail outlets can reach, surveillance systems have made themselves a common occurrence. Having a competent level of familiarity with CCTV technology is necessary to properly perform security duties – as CCTV can be used to track people showing signs of suspicious behaviour and monitor wider areas of the store.

Securing Cash Movement

Within the retail industry, a security officer is responsible for ensuring secure cash transport. Despite cash transactions decreasing in popularity, it is still a desirable target for potential thieves and robbers. This is why it’s crucial to ensure cash movement happens under the appropriate security measures.

retail security officer responsibilities

Essential Skills Of A Retail Security Officer

As briefly touched upon above, there are certain skill sets and proficiencies a person needs in order to act as a successful retail security guard. They can help you go a long in this profession.

Interpersonal and Customer Service Skills

A retail security professional will likely be working with the public daily. Communication plays a crucial role in the industry, during both calm situations, and emergencies. Both store personnel and customers will require engagement, which is why it’s so important to develop strong customer service and engagement skills. They are necessary to de-escalate growing tensions and maintain peace in almost every situation.

Technology Management

Technology is another skill that is absolutely required for the role of a retail security officer. This is due to the necessity of interacting with advanced security systems. A retail security expert may be required to use technological equipment on a regular basis, involving CCTV systems, tracking apps and theft-detection equipment. In a more modern setting, the demand for technological knowledge is growing, so knowing how to use these apps and systems can help advance your career.

Enhanced Communication Skills

Being able to effectively communicate with large groups and individuals can also be considered a must-have for retail security positions. This is due to needing to articulate incident reports, de-escalate arguments and hostile interactions or guide people through emergency procedures.

duties of a retail security officer

So, What Do Retail Security Officer Duties Involve?

In this article, we have covered the different retail security officer duties and responsibilities, and some of the skills that might be needed to fulfil this role. We’ve also touched on why it is important to learn these skills.

If you enjoyed this article, and want to learn more about the retail security industry, consider visiting our Retail Articles page where you can discover more about The Most Common Stolen Items From Supermarket Theft or the Top 10 Ways To Secure Your Retail Store In 2024.

Additionally, if the articles aren’t enough, we have an official Region Security Guarding channel on YouTube, where you can get involved with all the latest security news, tips and content.

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