Five Ways to Improve Retail Store Security
Theft from robberies and shoplifting cost retail stores billions of dollars each year. These losses can cause businesses to have to raise prices or cut staff in order to stay profitable. Losses caused by robberies can even force retail stores out of business.
Therefore, it’s important that you put a big focus on protecting your store from crime. While this can seem overwhelming to some people, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are a few changes that you can start implementing today that will make your retail store more secure and reduce the chance of a smash and grab robbery or shoplifting crime taking place at your location.
Here are five ways to reduce crime at your retail store:
Move Merchandise Out of Windows
A lot of stores place their most desirable merchandise in the windows in order to attract those who may be passing by. This is a good strategy to encourage customers to stop in, but it also attracts criminals. Many crimes are crimes of opportunity. This means that a criminal sees something they want in a window, they notice that no one is around and that the window isn’t secured and they strike.
In order to reduce these crimes, move valuables out of sight when your store is closed for business. It might seem like a pain to remove and set-up displays every day, but it can save you thousands of dollars in lost merchandise and store repairs if it prevents a crime.
Train Staff to Watch for Shoplifters
Shoplifters, obviously, don’t want to get caught in the act. Therefore, they’re much more likely to steal from a property where they feel like no one has noticed them.
The counteract this, have your staff personally greet everyone who walks into the store. This not only welcomes them to your property, but it lets potential shoplifters know that someone is watching them.
Train staff members to look out for people who are wandering around the store aimlessly, spending a long time holding merchandise without making any attempt to purchase it or who are navigating to more out of the way areas of the store. These people could be looking to hide from staff so that they can steal.
However, be careful not to outright accuse anyone of shoplifting unless you actually see them steal something. Having a staff member go ask a suspicious person if they need any help finding anything is often enough to let someone know they’re being watched and discourage them from stealing.
Rearrange Your Store
There are many ways that rearranging your store can reduce crime. Eliminate “blind spots” where potential criminals can hide, such as out of sight corners or large displays. Make sure that you position your checkout where customers must pass it while exiting. This will reduce the chances of someone being able to leave without paying. Place high-value items out of reach so that customers need to ask staff to see them. All of these actions will reduce loss.
Lock Up Valuables
Shoplifters and smash and grab robbers typically look for small yet valuable items. They know that these items are both easy to carry out of a property and easy to resell on the black market. Such items include jewellery, small electronics, razor blades, baby formula, medication, firearms and much more. To reduce theft of these items, store them behind locked gates or inside locked cabinets.
Check the Area Around You
You can protect your business by eliminating hiding places around your property and by getting rid of items that criminals could use as tools. For example, a large flower pot placed outside your front window can easily be used as a weapon to break into your business. Consider getting rid of it or securing it more effectively.
You’ll also want to eliminate hiding places. For example, if there is a dark alley beside your store, see if you can install exterior lighting in order to make this area more visible. Not only will doing so keep you and your customers safer, but it will also eliminate an area where a criminal could hide from sight and work on tampering with the locks on your side door, for example.
The good news is that you can protect yourself and your business by taking steps to secure your property before a crime takes place. While there obviously is a cost to having security gates installed, this cost is significantly lower than the expenses that your business could be faced with if your property is broken into.
Want some more helpful tips to improving the security of your business? Download our helpful guide to Improving Your Security Mindset.