Crime is a serious concern for businesses in the retail industry. In fact, inventory shrinkage costs the retail industry approximately $46.8 billion. Shoplifting, employee theft, and vandalism can detrimentally decrease profit margins while also putting everyone inside the store in danger. While it’s nearly impossible to have absolutely no risk of crime in your store, every business can benefit from tight security to reduce the headache and stress of dealing with issues in the future.
Our Retail Security Tips
- Be prepared during the holiday season: While security should be the main priority every day of the year, the holiday season makes your business particularly vulnerable to theft and fraud. Taking extra care to be prepared during the holiday season can save your business from a disaster.
- Build trustworthy relationships with employees: According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 75% of employees have admitted to stealing from their employers at least once, and 38% admit to stealing from their employers at least twice. Building meaningful relationships with employees will promote happiness and trust which can reduce the risk of employee theft.
- Be careful with employees: While building trustworthy relationships with employees is extremely important to building an effective retail security strategy, putting too much trust in your employees can cause the opposite effect. Minimizing the number of keys given to employees, performing background checks for new hires, monitoring cameras are fair and realistic ways to minimize risk.
- Look out for your neighbors, and they will look out for you: Building trustworthy relationships with your neighbors can create an environment when everyone is stronger collectively and looks out for each other’s businesses.
- Keep everything neat and organized: When products on the floor are messy, it makes the job of thieves much easier. Knowing the proper placement of each product minimizes the chances of stolen items
- Install cameras: This is probably the most effective way to prevent and catch criminals. Ensure that all entrances, exits, and registers are easily in sight. Current technology allows for clearer images where finer details like cash transactions, facial features, and clothing descriptions are easily visible. Putting up signs showing that customers are on camera can significantly reduce the likelihood of theft as well.
- Place easy to steal items in hard-to-reach places: Expensive items should always be locked away while items that are easy to grab should never be left near the entrance/exit of the business.
- Utilize mirrors: It’s unrealistic for staff to keep an eye on every section and corner of your store. Rounded mirrors near the ceiling are useful for giving a broad view of the entire view, especially in larger stores with high isles.
- Utilize electronic security tags: Using security tags on all items is unrealistic due to sizing and costliness. However, they can provide the most value on expensive items that your business cannot afford to get stolen
- Keep an eye on customers exhibiting odd behavior: Watch for people who wear large clothing with lots of pockets, carry large bags, spend too much time in one aisle and constantly exhibit nervousness by looking over their shoulder.
- Do not profile: Criminals and shoplifters come in all shapes and sizes. There are even studies that suggest shoplifting stereotypes by race and gender are completely untrue.
- Create a closing checklist: Checklists keep employees and managers on the same page while ensuring nothing is forgotten on any given night while the business is not operating.
- Keep the store well lit: Low lighting might be nice for ambiance but it’s not helpful for keeping an eye on customers.
- Monitor dressing rooms: If your business has dressing rooms, pay attention to the number of items that enter and exit with shoppers as well as the clothes they are wearing.
- Use tempered or laminated glass: Determined criminals will always find a way to break into glass storefronts or locked glass cabinets. Using tempered or laminated glass will slow them down, giving you and your staff more time to react.
- Create maximum visibility throughout the store: Long, high isles make it hard to watch the entire store. Using shorter displays always allows you to see customers and reduce blind spots.
- Put the register near the front of the store: A checkout near the front of the store allows you to acknowledge customers as they enter and exit the store. Doing so makes it easier to identify suspicious behavior or stolen items.
- Never leave the register unattended: Always find another staff member to watch the register if you need to leave.
- Develop a zero-tolerance reputation: Treat all theft equally, regardless of the dollar amount. Get the police involved for every theft to show that your business has zero-tolerance for crimes.
- Hire security guards: Having security guards posted in retail locations enhances safety, protects lives, and profits. The presence of security guards will not only ward off threats but will communicate the message that you take theft seriously, thus deterring both the amateur and professional shoplifter.
You worked hard to build your business so don’t let it go to waste with faulty security. By using these tips, your business will be much more prepared to stop criminals in their tracks.
Get in touch with GISS International to discover how a tailored security plan can help you