The risk of theft and shoplifting is high in the retail domain, which means that business owners need to go the extra mile for strengthening their security systems. The advice applies to both high-end as well as smaller stores, though stakes are high for big businesses. Having proper systems in place is important while there should also be a well-defined set of policies and procedures that need to be followed. Further, regular evaluation of these systems and policies can safeguard your business in the long run.
Fortunately, the constant improvements in security technology is making things easier for retail store owners today and they have plenty of options that are effective as well as affordable. Still, nothing is more valuable than implementing proper procedures and ensuring that they are followed all the time by everyone who is responsible for doing so. Let us explain the best security procedures that every retail store should follow as a part of their day-to-day operations and in the long-term.
Evaluate your security status
Being forewarned is the best approach as it ensures that you are forearmed to handle all kinds of situations. To start with, you should seek an evaluation of your current security status, whether you have a system in place or not. Consider factors like the commodities you deal in, the location of your store (in terms of crime patterns in the area), the average foot traffic you get, past experience with security incidents at the hands of employees and customers. You can involve the local police or a security agency to help you with an assessment. A complete evaluation is the best way to start before deciding the kind of procedure you require to secure your retail location.
Train employees and provide them with security policies
Employee training is an aspect that no retail business owner can afford to ignore. It becomes all the more important to educate the staff and impart them training for handling critical situations if you deal in expensive commodities. At the same time, you need to have a detailed set of security policies in writing so that you can share with your employees for better enforcement. Design the policies while prioritizing the prevention of both customer and employee theft. Have proper procedures for dealing with shoplifters so that your employees can manage delicate situations without drama. The policy should also mention strict punishing action against the employees who engage in unlawful activities.
Have the right surveillance equipment in place
If your retail store has outdated security and surveillance systems, now is the time to upgrade. Switch to the latest ones that offer 360° high-resolution video coverage which makes it easier to nab the culprits. Apart from identifying them, these cameras often dissuade people from even trying to breach security in retail stores. Ensure that the system covers every corner of the entire place, including the exterior and parking areas. In addition to smart cameras, you must also have alarm systems in place to prevent theft and break-ins.
Collaborate with a professional security service
Whether you run a large or small retail store, collaboration with a professional security service makes sense. You may spend on these services but can end up saving thousands of dollars that you may potentially lose at the hand of dishonest employees and unscrupulous shoppers every year. Tony Davies from Caple Security recommends using security services where the employees are all licensed and highly dedicated. These professionals are well-trained to tackle all kinds of security situations, right from major burglaries and break-ins to thefts by employees and petty shoplifting cases. The best part of having an agency handling your security needs is that you rest assured and focus only on your business while they take care of the rest.
Invest in an intelligent layout plan
Something as trivial as the proper layout of your merchandise can go a long way in making your retail store location a secure place. A messy and disorganized layout, on the other hand, is hard to monitor and gives employees and shoplifters an easy way to pick stuff unlawfully. Low shelving is a good idea because it enhances visibility across the store. Be aware of the suspicious behavior and activities of shoppers and staff. Besides shoplifting, you also need to know about activities such as price tag switching or customers using larger items to hide the merchandise. A proper layout can cover all the ingenious ways of theft more effectively than you may think.
Stay updated and compliant with laws
While having proper security procedures in place is significant for retail stores, they must be compliant with the local, state and federal laws at all times. Being updated with these laws is important to make sure that you are enforcing your rights even while staying within the legal bounds. For example, you cannot install surveillance cameras in try-rooms and get away with it. Similarly, violating the rights of a suspected shoplifter can land you in great trouble that can be more costly than the theft itself.
Give selective access to only trusted employees
For any business, there are only some employees you can trust enough and others you cannot depend on that much. Retail stores need to be extra selective in this context because they deal in lots of cash every day. Minimize the number of staff members who have access to cash, stock, and sensitive information. Make it a rule to never leave the cash unattended. This will increase accountability and reduce the supervision requirements as well. Have a consistent, zero-tolerance policy against theft even if it comes to the most loyal and trustworthy people in your team.
Retail store security requires a lot of planning, organizing, and hard work. Having a professional agency to manage it can reduce stress and give you peace of mind. Having them on board, thus, makes a smart decision for any business, regardless of the size and foot traffic of your store. Even if you spend today, you end up saving a lot in the long run.