Top retail stores that need a security system makeover include electronics giants, retail stores that focus on popular designer clothing and sporting goods stores. Shoplifting cost retailers millions of dollars each year. Developing a security system that reduces shoplifting will improve profit margins. All retail stores are vulnerable to losses caused by theft. A security system makeover may be needed if your profit margins have decreased.
Retailers around the world struggle with security issues even top retail stores. When profit margins decline, it is time to develop a new security plan. Problems such as theft from customers or employees, robberies and a drop in sales volumes affect your retail store’s bottom line. There are several things you can do to limit your liability to security threats in your retail store.
Surveillance Video Cameras
Top retail stores offer expensive electronics, apparel and sports equipment. If you have an old surveillance system, it may be time to upgrade. Modern technologies have developed cameras that can record crystal clear images in low-light conditions. Surveillance cameras are also less expensive than in previous years. Software technologies can monitor your security system, and send you mobile alerts when the program senses a security threat on real-time images.
There are a variety of security camera systems available from top security manufacturers. Retail store owners need a quality surveillance system to effectively watch customers and employees. Domed cameras that stay in one place are a popular choice because they can record a larger area. They are most often mounted on the ceilings of top retail stores.
The cameras are covered by a black domed casing that prevents a clear view of the security camera’s angle. Schedule a security audit with a professional security company to determine the right surveillance camera system for your business. A security audit will help you determine other security weaknesses in your store. An experienced professional auditor will walk the premises of your store and suggest security improvements.
Retail Store Security Tips
There are a number of ways to increase the security in your retail store. Design layout plays an important part in reducing theft. Create open spaces and install surveillance cameras in places that are hard for employees to observe. Shoplifting is a common problem found among retailers. Security systems should be in place to reduce the risk of shoplifting. Expensive electronics should be kept in a locked display case or tagged with a security tag.
Other expensive items should be located near the cash registers. There are two types of shoplifters. A professional shoplifter has a lot of experience in stealing items. They usually know where the cameras are located and often stake out the store before stealing. Inexperienced shoplifters lack the expertise of a professional, and are easier to detect. They may look nervously around and act suspicious. Store employees should be trained to recognize the common signs of shoplifting.
You can also hire a security company to monitor your surveillance cameras. Shoplifters can look like a regular customer. They come from all types of backgrounds and socioeconomic status. Some people steal for the excitement, and others steal to resell the items or because of need. You can hire a security professional to audit your store to determine your risk factors. Employees should watch customers for signs of unusual behavior such as wearing bulky clothing when the weather is nice.
Shoplifters often carry large bags to put their stolen merchandise. Train employees to take notice of people who often enter the store but don’t make any purchases. They should also look for people who pick up random items but do not seem interested. Popular items stolen include cellphones, personal care products and clothing. Make sure you hire enough employees to cover all areas of your store. Customers should be greeted when they enter the store and asked if they need any help.
Develop a return policy that requires a receipt. This will help prevent returns that are fraudulent. Some people will return merchandise to the store after they have stolen the items. Place a sign at the entrance into the store that lets customers know that large bags are not allowed. You can also use a security code to alert employees of customers who are acting suspicious. Many large retailers use this method to alert shoppers of the presence of security. Learn the laws in your state about confronting shoplifters. Different states have different laws when it comes to accusing someone of stealing.
Securing The Building
To prevent theft after business hours, be sure the doors and windows are secured. Install audible security alarms on all entry doors. If you have a large retail business, consider hiring a security company that will monitor your business after hours. Security alarm companies are not very expensive. Most charge a low monthly fee and will call local law enforcement if an alarm is triggered. Be sure your store is lit up especially at night. Illuminating the building and parking areas will keep intruders from hiding in the dark.
A professional security auditor can help you find security weaknesses in your store. Make sure cash is not left in the store at night. If your store deals with a large amount of cash, consider hiring a security company to pick up the cash. Limit employees who have access to large amounts of cash. Employee theft is also a concern in the retail business. You could install a hidden camera near the cash registers to catch possible employee theft. Reconcile the cash drawers several times a day.
If one of your registers is short of money, you can quickly review the video tapes. Security methods should be in place that covers all aspects of employee theft. Limit employee access to computers that contain sensitive customer information such as credit card numbers. All businesses must takes steps to prevent their customer’s credit card numbers to be compromised. Shred documents that contain sensitive customer information once they are no longer needed. Train employees not to approach customers who are aggressive or threatening.
Inventory rooms can be a security risk if you don’t limit their access. Employees should only be allowed access if they work in that department. Install surveillance cameras to keep a watchful eye on your inventory. Taking inventory often will keep you aware of any losses. An inventory room that is stocked with expensive electronics can be tempting to employees or even customers. Make sure the doors leading into your inventory rooms are locked and secure. The surveillance cameras should cover all areas of the inventory room. If there are any blind spots, install mirrors so the camera can record the entire inventory room.
Make sure your store has a policy that limits the number of garments that can be taken into a dressing room. This is a popular way for shoplifters to steal name-brand apparel. You can use the number system that shows employees how many items a customer has taken into the dressing room. Train employees on the importance of paying attention to details. Professional shoplifters are often very good at this type of theft. They may take four items into the dressing room but come out with only three.
This happens frequently and it takes an employee who is trained to recognize shoplifting tactics. Most retail stores that sell apparel keep their dressing rooms locked. This requires an employee to unlock the dressing room before a customer can take merchandise into the room. Once a customer is inside a dressing room, they have the privacy to hide stolen items. Train employees on the various shoplifting techniques found inside dressing rooms.
Retail stores are at risk of being robbed of their cash. Consider asking your local law enforcement agency to come to your store and educate employees about robberies. This can include helpful information that will show all employees how to safely handle a potentially dangerous situation. Even if you have surveillance cameras, robberies can happen. The best way to deal with them is to know what law enforcement officials recommend during these dangerous situations.
Although no retail store is safe from robbery, limiting the amount of cash in your store can reduce your risks. Place signs near the cash registers that state the store does not keep a large amount of cash. You can also leave cash register drawers open after closing. This can show potential intruders that there is no money to be found in the store. Don’t make your cash dropping time routine. Vary your routine when going to the bank to make a deposit.
Limit the amount of employees who have access to large amounts of cash. Don’t keep your cash in a safe at the store. It is much safer to hire a security company to pick up the cash. Consider installing silent alarms near the cash registers to alert local law enforcement. A professional security company can easily set this up for your business. Retail stores are often the victim of robberies because of the large amount of cash that is taken in daily. Limiting the amount of cash in your store reduces your risks.
Credit card fraud is a problem for most retail stores. Train employees to check customer’s identification and signatures. You should also educate your employees on identity theft issues. This will help make your employees aware of how large a problem identity theft has become. If you accept checks, employees should verify the name on the check matches the identification. They should also make sure the photo looks like the person writing the check. Credit card skimming by employees has increased over the past few years.
Employees can easily scan a customer’s credit card into a skimming device that captures their credit card number. The employee can retrieve the information later and use the credit card. Credit card skimmers can easily fit into an employee’s pocket. This technique is usually used out of sight of the customer. Train employees not to take the credit card out of sight of the customer. Monitor surveillance tapes to ensure employees are following your security methods. It takes cooperation between the owners and employees to reduce the risk of theft.
Refunds should only be allowed with a receipt. Make sure you put your refund policies on a sign located near the cash register. Clearly define the number of days a customer has to return merchandise. This can help reduce shoplifting techniques that are used to get cash later by bringing the item in for a refund without a receipt. When your suppliers make a delivery, make sure they are accompanies by an employee at all times. Train your employees to recognize counterfeit money.
Counterfeit money is a frequent problem found by retail stores. Use special markers to check for counterfeits, especially larger bills. Report all incidents to your local law enforcement agency. If you have surveillance cameras installed and you have an incident, turn the video over to law enforcement. This can help law enforcement to uphold criminal charges. Being aware of the different security threats is a great start to reducing your risk of losses. Monitor your security practices often to see if they need improvement. Retail theft can be reduced by applying specific security methods. This will help improve your profits and reduce your losses. Contact us today to learn how you can improve your store’s security system.