Considering the amount of money that’s at stake, it’s not surprising that even retail stores are prone to theft. As a store owner, it’s imperative that you regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your policies and security systems to keep shoplifters and hackers at bay.
In this article, you will discover what retail store security is and why it is important to upgrade your retail store security system.
Retail store security generally refers to store and merchandise protection measures and techniques that retailers adopt for a more secure sales environment. These measures are set in place to protect retail stores from crimes such as theft, vandalism, and shoplifting.
Read on to learn to know the proper security measures your retail store has to have in place.
How can you improve retail security and loss protection in your business?
Security is one of the major threats retail stores face nowadays. While the police may be just minutes away, minutes can already mean lost merchandise at the least, and sometimes, even lost lives! That’s why it is necessary to have an efficient plan in place not only to prevent crime in your retail store but to keep your customers and employees safe as well.
Here are some of the most basic things you can do to ensure security in your retail store:
· Avoid having a lone worker at any given time
If a single robber sees that there are at least two persons manning your store, he’ll probably think twice about carrying out his dark plan. That’s because that means twice as many people he has to watch and worry about if they’re calling for help and twice as many people who can stop him if he’s running out of the store with merchandise.
If you want to protect your retail store from robbers, never have fewer than two people working there at any given time. Having an extra worker during a slower shift may increase your operating cost, but the protection it provides is definitely worth the extra money.
· Install a security system
Since you are not always in your store, it’s also necessary that you hire a security guard and have a security system installed. For potential robbers, just the fact that there’s a system like this installed in your store is already enough to discourage them from targeting your store.
Remember though that a security system doesn’t do much good if you don’t set it, so make sure that you arm it even when your store is closed. Take full advantage of all its capabilities and don’t just install it for show. Expert criminals will know if a security system is working or not, so don’t take the risk!
· Always leave the lights on
As with any business, anything can happen in the dark. Leaving some lights on in your store when it’s closed will make it much easier for any passerby to see inside and report if there’s any suspicious activity going on. You don’t necessarily have to leave all the lights on—just a few should be enough to do the trick.
· Make regular deposits
If potential robbers know that you have a lot of money stored in your store, they will be more tempted to rob it. On the other hand, if you have less cash on hand, the more likely they will skip over you and head to somewhere else instead—somewhere where they can steal more.
· Train your staff
It’s hard to deal with a robbery attempt if your employees aren’t ready for it. If you have a plan in place, your employees will know how to respond to such situations.
Before any form of theft or robbery even takes place, let your employees know that their lives are more important than money, so if they get cornered, they’ll know it’s okay for intruders to get away with money, as long as they and your customers are unscathed. Inform them about the exit plans in your building and train them how to contact the police and evaluate the building during such emergencies.
· Install sensors
One of the easiest ways to prevent shoplifting is by installing sensors in your merchandise. These sensors automatically go off when items are illegally removed from the store, so it pays to have them installed to prevent any loss of merchandise.
Remember, however, that customers are not the only ones prone to stealing things from your store. There are cases when employees are also tempted to steal, so reduce the risk of employee shoplifting by putting a limit on their bag size and having them keep their bags in a place that they cannot easily access during their shifts.
What are today’s best practices when it comes to retail security?
Did you know that according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, at least $13 billion worth of goods are stolen every year from retailers? That’s about $35 million a day! If you haven’t experienced dealing with shoplifters and thieves, you probably may be taking retail security lightly, but I tell you what. Shoplifters are everywhere, and safety measures within your store can do wonders if you want to preserve your profits!
If your business is already at the franchise level, there will certainly come a time when product loss will be a huge issue for you, so take note of these best practices to protect your retail store from product theft:
· Go for a “zero tolerance” reputation
Make robbers know that your business isn’t the type that tolerates theft. By applying the “broken window” theory of justice and pressing charges against all thieves, you develop a zero tolerance reputation and send a strong message of deterrence to those who might be planning to rob your retail store in the future.
· Make sure your store has complete video camera coverage
While video images used to be grainy in the past, current technology allows for sharper images that can easily help identify thieves. Ensuring that your store—including the exterior and parking areas– has complete 360° high-resolution video camera coverage, will make it easier for you to monitor the safety inside your store’s premises.
· Keep yourself up-to-date with local, state, and federal laws
As a retail store owner, it’s imperative that you know how to fully enforce your rights. However, you need to know how to do it while staying within legal bounds. Don’t take the risk of violating a suspected shoplifter’s rights because that could cost you even more than the theft itself.
· Display all your merchandise neatly
The more neatly your products are organized in your store, the easier it will be for you and your employees to spot shoplifters. If your store is messy and is a maze to get through, it will be harder for you to notice that you have been robbed.
· Install a buzzer at your front entrance
Just like big-time criminals, shoplifters also want to remain as invisible as possible. If you install a bell or buzzer at your front entrance, that will signal when customers enter and leave. Sometimes, knowing that you know they’re there is enough to make thieves and shoplifters think twice about robbing your store.
· Keep track of your POS system
Relying on your POS (point-of-sale) system will make it easier for you to identify discrepancies between your actual inventory and what your employees have reported as sold. Ensuring that your POS software or website plugin has adequate security is another point of discussion that brings us to another aspect of retail security, which is internet security.
Is internet security a priority for your retail store?
Every time customers make monetary transactions at your store or on your website, they make their personal information vulnerable, especially when you don’t have proper internet security measures in place. As a retail store owner, you can never underestimate the importance of internet security, especially if you’re running multiple stores.
Nowadays, most retail stores are connected via the internet. While that’s a good thing, it also comes with security concerns. If you want to protect your customers’ data from ransomware, malware and hackers, it’s important that you take proper online security steps to protect your networks. Here are some tips to do that:
· Use an SD-WAN
This will greatly help your business if you want to protect your customers from massive ransomware attacks. You can add firewalls or unified threat management appliances to each of your store to prevent such attacks, incorporating SD-WAN connection to secure your network data.
· Store your data off-site
Since there is no way to know when a natural disaster will strike, it’s best to store your data off-site so you don’t lose customer data in case of a disaster. Nowadays, cloud security is far better than traditional data centers.
· Encrypt your credit card swiper
Make it impossible for hackers to access your customers’ credit card information via your POS by encrypting your credit card swiper with any good POS software. By doing this, no credit card information is stored in your POS device.
In retail, protecting your business, your customers and your employees against theft and damage is crucial. The prevalence of thieves and hackers has made retail security a major imperative for retailers like you.
If you need help with your retail store security, contact us, Champion National Security, at 800-807-9844 today. We assure you that our security solutions will safeguard your hard-earned profits by reducing loss of inventory and improving the safety of your stores, employees and customers. You can count on our competent retail security guards to observe and respond to shoplifters and suspicious customers, ensuring the delivery of returns on your investment.