Important retail security tips that will protect your business from shoplifters, smash and grab robbers, and more
Many retail stores lose a significant
amount of money each year due to theft. Obviously, this is a concern for many
business owners. Shoplifters, smash and grab robbers, and other criminals are
serious threats to retail stores. Following these retail security tips will
help keep your store safer and reduce loss and theft.
1- Make Sure You Can See
Shoplifters often hide behind displays or large shelves, then slip items into their pockets or bags when no one can see them. For this reason, one of the most important retail security tips is to maintain sight lines with the store. Avoid areas where criminals can hide and, if at all possible, structure your store so that staff can always see every area, no matter where they are stationed.
Lighting is also critical, both inside and
outside the store. Criminals thrive in darkness. Consider using
motion-activated lights outside your store if you can.
2- Interact with Guests
Criminals don’t like to know that they’re
being watched. This is why a simple “hello” when someone walks into the store
is so powerful. It lets potential thieves know that staff are aware of them.
Train your staff to look out for
shoplifters or anyone who is acting suspicious. If they see someone who is
lingering around a certain area for a long time, or randomly picking up items
and putting them back down without much interest, this person could be just
waiting for an opportunity to steal. Train staff to be aware of these
situations and to walk over and ask if they can help. Retail security tips like
this one will likely cause the criminal to think twice because they know they are
It’s also critical to be aware of potential
distraction thefts. In some instances, criminals work together. One person will
start an argument with staff or present a difficult situation to keep staff
distracted while their partner robs the store. In these situations, teach staff
the importance of multi-tasking and monitoring the entire property no matter
what may be happening.
3- Don’t Tempt Thieves
The same eye-catching displays of desirable
products that attract customers to your store during the day also attract
criminals at night. This is why it’s a good idea to remove valuables from store
windows when your store is closed. This is one of the retail security tips that
is sometimes overlooked, but it’s a crucial one.
4- Use Physical Security
Physical security gates work because they keep criminals away from valuables. Gates don’t just serve as physical protection, but they also work as a visual deterrent. Criminals know they’re in place just by looking at a property, so in many cases they’ll consider another location when they see that a store is protected. Keeping your store from looking like a target is one of the most critical retail security tips. During business hours, gates can easily be rolled or folded out of the way, maintaining a store’s welcoming appearance. Plus, gates are very easy to use. This means staff will use them properly.
Not only do door and window gates reduce
the likelihood of that a smash and grab robbery, but physical tools can be used
inside the store to prevent shoplifting. Locking small yet valuable items
behind security gates stops shoplifters. Customers who are interested in making
a purchase, will have no problem asking staff for assistance, but criminals
will be deterred.
Physical tools can also be used to secure stock rooms and other off-limits areas. Lock doors and consider installing gates. Security gates make it possible for staff inside these areas to see the store even when they’re in a back room, improving security.
5- Be Alert of where Valuables are Placed
Certain items are targets for criminals.
This includes expensive merchandise as well as smaller items that can easily be
stashed inside a bag or pocket. When you’re designing the layout of your store,
make sure you put these desirable items where staff can see them. You’ll also
want to keep them away from the store exits. One of the best positions for such
valuable items is near the cash, where they can easily be watched by employees.
As mentioned, consider putting valuables behind gates or inside locked cabinets
to reduce the risk of theft. By following these retail security tips, you’ll
keep your store safe.