For any retail store, security can and should be a major concern. Shoplifting is a constant and costly problem, with retailers facing an up hill battle trying to maintain the bottom line. According to a National Retail Federation survey, loss of inventory cost the retail industry $48.9 billion last year. Over 36% of missing inventory was attributed to shoplifting by customers, while 30% was attributed to employee theft. The balance was attributed to clerical errors and vendor fraud. In addition, there is always the threat of a robber holding up your business and cleaning out your safe or cash register. Whether your business is part of a franchise, or is an independent operation, a well thought out, overall approach to security is a must in order to protect you, your employees, and your assets.
Lighting is an effective but often overlooked deterrent. A well-lit interior space deters shoplifters from hiding in dark areas while stealing merchandise. All spaces should be lit well enough so that products; whether clothes, toys, food, etc are easily visible. Tall bins or high shelves create blind spots for thieves to hide behind. With the use of video surveillance, you can easily see activity in those areas. Parking areas should also be kept well-lit at night. The goal is to reduce crime and prevent injury and accidents, while improving customer confidence when patronizing your business.
Keeping windows unobstructed is another useful tool. A clear window will allow passersby to look in. Not only can potential customers see your products, but a clear view will allow people walking by to see a crime in progress. This can help deter potential criminals from targeting your business. Displays should never block aisles or obstruct views fully. Keep landscaping or bushes from growing too far up in front of the window and avoid blocking windows with inventory.
Put the cash register area near the entry/exit doors. With a register close to the doors, you can see each person as they come in, as well as when they leave. This traffic should be documented by the use of a video camera if need at a later time. This could lower the chance of a shoplifter quickly entering and then running out with your merchandise. Video cameras located to observe each cash register can easily show you how many items are being paid for during a transaction and can eliminate collusion between a dishonest employee and a “customer.”
Former employees are another source of vulnerability. As soon as an employee leaves your company, notify your alarm company and have them remove the employee’s security code from your alarm system. Likewise, have them delete the employee’s access code from your access system and revoking any keys or electronic access cards.
These are just a few of the many things you can do to improve the security of your business. Each business has unique problems when dealing with security issues. We invite you to contact us to discuss you security in greater detail. Call us today at (718) 258-1310. We provide full service alarm, CCTV and access control solutions for homes and businesses. When you think of security, think of Video Surveillance Corp. It’s security you can see!