Retail Security Tips

Retail theft appears to be increasing year on year, with millions of pounds worth of stock being stolen. Many stores have CCTV systems in place recording those thefts, or for the larger stores, manned cameras along with store security officers ready to act or apprehend when advised of a theft by the CCTV control room. Many stores will employ a store detective to play the role of a customer. If someone is behaving suspiciously, the store detective will observe the movements and make a record. The difference between a security office and a store detective is that the store detective is working covertly. The store detective may decide to arrest or detain the suspected thief until the Police attend.

To help reduce the risk of retail theft, there are a few basic tips to remember:

  • ‘Walk the floor’ – it becomes more difficult for a shoplifter to steal items when retail staff appear to be ubiquitous. Members of staff should be encouraged, when time allows, to check that items have not been removed from boxes/packs, check the fitting rooms and generally become more visual.
  • Staff should keep their eyes open, and when possible, greet each customer with a smile or a “hello” and let them know that you have seen them; be courteous and helpful at all times.
  • Be aware of vulnerable areas such as emergency exits and stockrooms. Ensure these areas are secure.
  • If there are dark areas in your retail outlet, you may wish to consider installing bright lights thereby helping to reduce the risk of theft.
  • Encourage your staff to have a close working relationship with security personnel.
  • You may consider installing convex mirrors in your retail store that can allow your employees to easily observe customers
  • Consider having only one entrance/exit. Having only one entrance/exit will be easier to monitor.
  • Use electronic tags that cannot be removed without damaging the item.
  • Install a CCTV system, ensuring that cameras are visible in vulnerable areas.
  • Use signs such as ‘Thieves Will Be Prosecuted’.
  • Be aware of people that are wearing overcoats on warm days. Items can be tucked neatly inside a coat.

Employee theft can be another problem in retail outlets. Retail employees are working in stores because the store owner feels they are trustworthy. This isn’t always the case. The retail employee has first-hand knowledge of the store and is aware of the type of the security used.

There are a few simple measures that can be taken to help reduce the risk of employee theft:

  • Do not allow an employee to wrap up or make a till transaction for themselves or a relative.
  • Do not allow an employee to take an item from the retail store on approval without purchasing it first.
  • Randomly check waste bins for items that may have been place there for later collection.
  • Ensure a manager is aware of every refund transaction.
  • When leaving the retail premises each day, check employees’ bags.

The above are just a few tips that can be implemented to help reduce retail theft.

LSCD Ltd are specilists in CCTV installation for Retail as well as Access Control Systems.