Figures released by the British Retail Consortium found that crime costs the retail industry £2.2 billion per year. Some of the crimes most commonly reported in the study included theft, stock damage, physical abuse and fraud.
Whether your business is a multinational company or a small independent trader on the high street, any loss to your business through crime can prove extremely costly. It can also have a negative impact on the customer experience, whether customers witness crime or worse still is a victim of a crime while in your store.
Employing various security measures is therefore essential to protect your business, along with your staff and customers. But which measures are really worth your investment? Here are our thoughts to tell you more.
Careful Positioning Of High-Value Items
If you put yourself in the position of a thief, you would look for any opportunity to steal an item, especially if it requires a minimal amount of effort. For example, if the items happen to be right near the door, especially if there is no security guard or alarm system present, then you could potentially be in and out of the store with the stolen items in a matter of seconds.
Of course, no retail business wants to see any of its items get stolen. However, all too often stores place high-value items, especially the likes of designer clothing or electrical items, very close to the exits within a store. On the one hand, such items can attract customers especially if they are part of a window display, but it also leaves the store more vulnerable to theft.
Instead, consider placing high-value items well away from the doors, ideally on higher shelves. Some stores also only place the box on display, with customers only receiving the real item once they have completed the checkout process.
Are Security Tags Really That Secure?
The idea of security tags is that if they aren’t removed by a cashier following payment of the item, then they will make a loud beeping noise when the customer exits the store, as they will set off sensors within the door alarm system.
Security tags continued to be heavily used, and there’s no doubt they offer a deterrent to would-be thieves. The only problem is they cannot be fully relied upon.
Firstly, they require a security guard to be alerted that the door alarm is sounding. If they aren’t close enough, then they could easily miss this, and if they do there is no GPS sensor on the tag to be able to trace the potential thief.
There is also a chance the alarm system could malfunction, rendering the security tags useless until a store member notices and then arranges a repair. Also, retail door alarms are notorious for activating even when a store tag hasn’t passed through the door, meaning the alarms aren’t always taken seriously.
If that wasn’t bad enough, security tags can easily be removed with pliers, or have aluminium foil placed over them which will block the signals to the door alarm.
When it comes to crimes such as theft, criminal damage and especially physical abuse, security guards are an extremely valuable asset to reduce the problem and immediately deal with any incidents.
The key is to have both the right number of security guards, and ensure they are positioned strategically so that the most vulnerable areas of the store are covered. For larger retail stores, it’s also a wise idea to hire security staff, so that large swathes of the shop floor are not left unattended.
Security guards can also offer plainclothes work, which can be crucial in securing convictions for notorious thieves. It’s also possible for several retail outlets in a specific location to work together with plainclothes security guards, to help gather more evidence about suspicious activity.
We’ve saved the best till last, as CCTV can keep the eyes on the prize at all times. This includes monitoring activity on the shop floor, staff areas, stockroom, loading bays, car parks, outside the front of the store etc.
These days, remote CCTV monitoring means you can be alerted if suspicious movement or activity is detected, even if you’re not physically present in the building. For example, if you are busy during the Christmas rush, or if someone tries to break into the store in the middle of the night.
Not only do you have access to the footage, but so does a control room, such as the one we operate here at RE:SURE.
After all, CCTV is the only type of security that allows you to catch a perpetrator in the act. CCTV also provides vital evidence to the police should a crime go on to be committed, though with remote CCTV this is less likely, as you can directly communicate with the person in question to instruct them to leave.
Commercial Security UK
When it comes to the safety of customers and employees, and the protection of stock and the wider building, retail businesses must remain savvy with their security to outsmart any potential criminals.
One of the most tried and tested methods that not only help prevent crime, but can give an accurate recollection of what happened is CCTV. RE:SURE offers remote CCTV to residential properties and businesses alike.
If you are interested in getting remote CCTV monitoring services to protect your retail business, get in touch on IRE 01 691 7100 | UK 028 8676 1183 and our friendly team will be more than happy to help.