How to Improve Retail Security
If you own or work in a retail store, then you’ll know that security is one of the most important considerations. Statistics show that one in five thefts take place in retail stores and the total cost of crimes against the convenience sector was a shocking £193 million (in 2018).
Improving retail security is essential for loss prevention, but you don’t want to deter customers with heavy-handed security techniques. Luckily, there are plenty of discreet ways to improve your retail security and ensure a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere in your store. If you want to know more about how to secure your premises and deter thieves, read on for our handy guide.
Choose the right security system
Every retail store should have a security system and there are many different types to choose from. CCTV systems are one of the most popular options for retail stores as they keep track of all activity and provide a visual deterrent. CCTV cameras can be placed so that you have a full overview of the premises and they’ll keep any evidence on record if you do suffer a theft.
If you’re looking for the latest secure technology, consider one of the many smart security cameras available on the market. These systems transmit video feeds via the internet, so they can be viewed remotely from your smartphone or tablet for extra peace of mind.
There are many additional security systems to choose from if you’re looking for added protection, including burglar alarms, motion sensor alarms and glass break detection. If you’re struggling with the choice available, a professional security company will be able to assess your requirements and recommend the best system for you.
Attaching sensors or security tags to your merchandise is one of the most effective ways to reduce loss. Sensors automatically sound an alarm if items pass through the security barrier without having been scanned (and therefore paid for) first.
Sensors are a great choice because they’re versatile, affordable and quick and easy to use. Some retailers like to attach large security tags to their items as an added visual deterrent, but you can also purchase magnet strip sensors to be more discreet. Sensor tags are also suitable for a wide range of products, including clothing, alcohol, food and cosmetics.
Avoid leaving one lone worker
Avoid leaving one member of staff alone on the shop floor where possible. It’s good practice to have at least two members of staff on duty at any one time, to increase the number of eyes on the floor. It’s difficult for just one worker to keep a close eye on everything going on which leaves opportunities open for theft.
Multiple staff on duty also makes it safer for your employees too; you can’t predict how thieves will react but there’s safety in numbers.
All employees should be trained so they understand what to do (and what not to do) if they suspect a shoplifter. It’s a good idea to have a written policy to make sure everyone’s on the same page and so employees can easily access the information when they need it.
Staff safety is vital too; all training should stress that employee safety comes first, even if that means losing some money or merchandise.
Access control systems
Theft can take place internally, although this isn’t a nice thought for business owners and staff. You can increase the security of a store by adding an access control system so you know exactly who has access to which areas. These systems use a digital network to control who has access, often using a pin code or by swiping a keycard.
Access control systems help to protect valuables, making them popular for businesses with a lot of expensive stock. They also keep records of who enters and exits an area, so if something does go missing, you can narrow down the potential suspects.
Hire a security guard
The presence of a security guard is another physical deterrent to thieves and they can respond to situations quickly in the event of a theft. Many employees state that security guards create a safer working environment and they feel more comfortable knowing that there’s a professional there to handle security.
Security guards are professionally trained to spot the signs of potential shoplifting or crime and they also know how to respond to situations safely and effectively. Having an extra pair of eyes also means that your employees can concentrate on the day to day running of the business, without worrying about theft.
Thieves thrive in poorly lit areas, so ensure every area of your store is well lit. Many businesses also like to leave a few lights on at night, so passersby can report any suspicious activity after hours. You may not feel this is necessary if security systems are in place (such as burglar alarms and CCTV), or you could add motion sensor lights at key entry and exit points. Many opportune thieves rely on the cover of darkness, so a sudden bright light can be enough to make them move on.
Security shutters protect your shop from vandalism and theft and they’re ideal for shop fronts with a lot of glass. The majority of thieves break windows or shop fronts to gain entry after hours, but adding security shutters means that the premises are almost impenetrable.
Security shutters are also cost effective, easy to install and simple to operate; simply pull them down and lock up at the end of the day. There’s no need to worry about aesthetic appearance either – security shutters and grilles come in a range of colours and finishes so you can match them to the existing look of your store.
Don’t forget cyber security
We’ve covered a lot of aspects of physical security, but don’t forget your online security too. More and more of us do our shopping online (especially since the pandemic), so you need to make sure you’ve got the right security in place.
You’ll want to protect your customers from hackers, especially if they’re entering sensitive information like their credit card details. Cloud security is a good place to start as data is stored off-site, so you won’t lose valuable customer information in the event of a hack or malfunction. Businesses will also want to protect themselves from hackers or theft, so you’ll need to set up some form of customer verification. Some credit card systems include automatic address verification, or you could set up a captcha to block automatic hacking programmes.
You’ll also need to make sure your retail site is secure (for both the business’s safety and the customer’s). An SSL certificate is essential, so make sure yours is up to date, and use anti-spam software to reduce the likelihood of viruses and security breaches.
Affordable and effective security systems from the experts at Campbell & McGovern
If you’re in need of affordable, reliable security systems for your retail store, get in touch with the professionals at Campbell & McGovern Locksmiths. We’re proud to offer a range of security systems for business owners, including CCTV, access control systems, master key systems and more. If you’ve got valuable items or documents to protect, we also offer a full range of safes to keep everything secure. Our sturdy safes come in a range of models to suit your needs, including fireproof safes, freestanding safes and discreet underfloor installations.
Our experienced staff are on hand to help you choose the best security system to suit your needs
and our locksmiths are available 24/7 for emergencies. Don’t leave anything to chance, give us a call today or contact us online to find out how we could help improve your retail security.