Five Key Retail Security Tips
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 being watched.
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.