Retail sales may be on the rebound after the challenges caused by the pandemic, but retailers cannot rest easy. According to the National Retail Federation, retail crime is a growing concern for retailers, from internal theft to brazen merchandise heists by aggressive gangs.
Those polled in the 2021 National Retail Security Survey also noted an increase in aggressive behaviors and violence. The survey highlighted what retailers have been experiencing– a severe change in the retail climate that includes changing threat dynamics and utilizing new tactics by organized crime (ORC) gangs.
To combat these threats, retailers must proactively enhance their security measures. Here are seven crucial tips to get started.
Opt for Alarm Monitoring
It takes just moments for criminals to break into a store and make off with thousands of dollars in merchandise or for many other serious events to unfold. Because you cannot be at the store 24/7 to respond to emergencies, it is vital to implement alarm monitoring. Once triggered, a security system equipped with devices to detect entry, glass break, or motion will sound an alarm and send a signal to a monitoring center that dispatches the proper authorities without delay. Monitoring can be combined with video verification for an even more efficient response.
Control the Number of People in the Store
Consumers have grown accustomed to lowered occupancy limits. Use this to your advantage and keep occupancy to an easily managed and supervised minimum. Technologies exist to automate this process and limit crowding.
Ensure your Store’s Caller ID includes the Store Name
If your store is in a mall, be sure that the store’s caller ID includes the store’s name and the mall name. This way, the mall’s security team can identify the store, and outside emergency dispatch by the monitoring center can locate both the store and the mall.
Beware of Stockpiled Items
One of the common tactics thieves use is to move high-value items to one area near the door, positioning them for an easy “grab and run,” taking all the things at once. Sometimes this involves one person, sometimes several. Make all staff aware of this practice and monitor for the activity.
Use Intrusion Detection
The primary purpose of an intrusion alarm system is to protect from burglary, vandalism, property damage, and, of course, to ensure the security of the individuals inside the building. While a standard intrusion system in a retail store protects the premises when the store is closed, more advanced capabilities can help protect interior areas, even when the store is open.
Integrate Access Control
Access control technology allows you to secure critical areas such as stock rooms. By assigning unique codes to employees, you know who accessed the area and when and help prevent employee theft, shrinkage, and fraud.
- Every year, businesses lose $50 billion as a result of employee theft. (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)
- Employee theft costs are rising at a rate of 15% per year. (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)
- Cash, property, or merchandise are targets of employee theft. (Source: Reference for Business)
- The average retail theft case costs $1,380 due to dishonest employees. (Source: Jack L. Hayes International, Inc)
- Organizations report a shrink rate average of 1.62%. (Source: NRF)
Install Video Surveillance
Video surveillance is one of the most effective ways to enhance your security. If your store is a stand-alone structure, consider outdoor video surveillance that provides visibility of the perimeter. Indoor surveillance is also necessary and provides a way to have complete visibility in real-time to prevent theft, fraud, and violence.
- Fraud causes companies to lose an estimated 5% of revenue every year. (Source: ACFE)
- The average fraud case costs a company $1,509,000. (Source: ACFE)
Consider placing video surveillance cameras:
- At POS locations
- In inventory and storage rooms
- At entrances and exits
- Around or facing parking lots
Consider utilizing License Plate Recognition, Facial Recognition, Radar, Thermal, and other Video Analytics to enhance your surveillance. Surveillance video can also be made available to the monitoring center to verify alarms, minimizing errant or unnecessary dispatches, resulting in fees and fines.
Today, retailers recognize security technology as a business necessity that helps organizations stay safe and thrive. If you’d like more information about adding technologies or replacing outdated ones, call Sierra Group today.
About Sierra Group
As a united, multi-disciplined service-focused company specializing in electronic physical security, we have a unique 360° perspective that gives us the ability to help you meet your specific security needs with laser precision.
If you are looking for a security integration and management company or are interested in learning more, please contact us. Our goal is to help you reach yours.
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