Retailers, both big and small, are hemorrhaging profits due to employee theft and shoplifting. In 2014, retailers lost $44 billion dollars due to stolen or lost merchandise. That number rose to $45.2 billion in 2015.
Not all establishments share equally in this loss. Stores can unknowingly garner a reputation as easy targets for the criminal world as they unwittingly tout little to no security. However, businesses can deter criminals and protect their assets in the process. Here’s how.
1. Active Video Monitoring
Long gone are the days when a business could place dummy cameras around the store in order to deter criminals. Surprisingly, some big retailers still employ this practice. Shoplifters are becoming more brazen, as evidenced by the fact that lost revenue due to shrinkage continues to go up yearly.
Criminals view the lack of adequate security as a business opportunity. Some shoplifters even have side businesses selling stolen merchandise. Therefore, you must employ video surveillance and actively monitor it in real time to prevent theft and enhance security.
2. Security Guards
Retail workers alone are not an effective defense against experienced shoplifters. Plus, businesses typically do not allow workers to chase down criminals, as someone could be seriously harmed in the process.
Effective businesses proactively employ trained security guards who can monitor for shoplifting and alert police to make an arrest. Businesses generally notice an increase in profits when they hire armed security guards, as customers and employees alike will have a safer shopping experience in the store and because fewer items will mysteriously go missing.
3. Trained Staff Members
Many employees think it's their job to chase down shoplifters, and this can be a legal liability for a company. However, staff should be cognizant of the patrons in their store and make every effort to acknowledge every customer, as this alone can thwart the plans of less-brazen criminals. At a minimum, staff members should be trained on appropriate policies and procedures to follow in the event of shoplifting.
4. Security Signs
Shoplifters will be less likely to target stores that strategically place security signs in places where criminals look, like up near video cameras and at the entrances and exit areas. Warning shoplifters that they are being monitored and recorded and that they will be prosecuted is a better deterrent than having no visible signs.
Following through on prosecuting criminals is vital as well. Your company needs to earn a solid reputation in terms of security.
5. Security-Minded Design
Many stores are visually appealing so as to attract shoppers. However, stores need to consider whether security was also taken into account when the store was designed. For example, patrons should have to pass a register in order to leave the store.
Managers should try to think like shoplifters and should consider all the security holes. After all, criminals are stalking businesses every day and doing the same thing, but for a more sinister purpose.
To think like a criminal, consider all of the hiding places and secure them. For example, are there mirrors in the corners of the store so that people can’t hide out of view of cameras? Are the parking lot and the area outside the store well lit? If not, install additional security measures to mitigate the risk of theft or crime.
Most criminals look for opportunities to strike what they consider to be easy targets. Imagine a store with no visible employees. This fictitious store has cobwebby cameras that shoplifters know aren't being monitored. Plus, there aren't any security signs threatening to prosecute shoplifters or to even warn potential thieves that they are being recorded or monitored. Such a lack of security makes theft more likely.
If your business suffers from a lack of protection, contact Eagle Eye Security. All of our team members are trained to ensure that you and your property are as safe as possible at all times.