Protecting Retail Stores: Loss Prevention and Security
A recent Guardian article reported a UK ‘epidemic’ of shoplifting, with a 100% increase having been recorded over the last three years. The British Retail Consortium estimates that retailers are now losing £953 million a year through in-store theft.
The ongoing cost of living crisis is undoubtedly a major driving force in the explosion of retail crime, and we can all have sympathy for those who are genuinely being driven to crime just to feed their families. But even genuine hard luck stories are unlikely to cut much ice with shop owners who are seeing their stock disappear.
So what can you do to protect your store without taking on security staff, which can be expensive as well as off-putting to genuine customers? The already hard-pressed police are unlikely to be able to respond quickly to reports of suspicious characters or even genuine incidents, so anything you can do to protect yourself is going to be worthwhile.
Here are a few effective and affordable ways to enhance your security, reduce your losses and let potential thieves know that you’re not going to be an easy touch.
Greet your customers
Good shop security starts from the moment people enter your store. Greeting and welcoming customers isn’t just a polite thing to do, it also lets those with less than honest intentions know that you are aware of who’s on the premises and that you are paying attention. If someone is acting suspiciously inside the store, politely asking if you can help them with anything is another non-confrontational way of letting them know they have been noticed.
CCTV and surveillance cameras have the double benefit of both deterring potential thieves and providing useful evidence after the event. Make sure your cameras are located in positions that provide as comprehensive coverage as possible. When you order surveillance equipment from Scutum South East, we can also install your cameras for you and make sure they are optimally located for the most effective results.
As we detailed in this previous blog, when you install CCTV cameras, data protection laws mean that you also have to put up signage telling customers that the cameras are there. Of course, this is no bad thing – honest customers shouldn’t mind and will understand why, while it’s also another way of telling potential shoplifters that they are being watched.
Protect valuable stock with EAS tagging
EAS tagging is an increasingly popular solution, especially for larger stores or those selling items with a high value. As with CCTV cameras, just the presence of the terminals used to detect the tags at a store’s doors can act as an effective deterrent to those considering stealing from you. Most stores that have installed such equipment report a subsequent reduction in the loss of their stock, with potential thieves simply going elsewhere in search of easier stealing.
If you do stock valuable items, you might also want to think carefully about where you keep them in the shop. Make sure they are within easy view of the till and ideally well away from the door so that it won’t be easy for anyone to grab them and make a break for it.
Remember that it might not just be the public stealing from you
So far, we’ve been concentrating on measures to be introduced on the shop floor to deter members of the public from stealing your property. But can you be sure that some of your stock is not being taken by your own staff? If you have cameras in your store that are recording 24/7, your stock there should be safe, but can you say the same for what’s being kept in storerooms at the back?
Again, CCTV cameras are a possible deterrent or solution, although staff may not be keen on being filmed while going about their work. Installing an access control system onto the door to your stockroom is another inexpensive way of protecting your goods, with the means of entry (whether it’s a code or keyfob) only given to trusted or senior staff.
Here at Scutum South East, we can bring years of security experience to London and Surrey customers working in the retail sector to help them keep their shops safer from the risk of theft.
Want to know more? Just give us a call and we can arrange a free visit to assess your premises and make a recommendation as to the best solution. And because we always aim to beat any other quote you get, you can be sure that you’re not only getting professional security help, but you’re also getting great value too.
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About Scutum South East
Scutum South East is a leading expert in fire safety and security solutions for businesses and organisations located across South East England, including London and Surrey.
From fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire risk assessments to access control, CCTV and intruder alarm systems – and a lot more besides – we offer a comprehensive range of products and services designed to keep you, your business and your staff and visitors safe.
With decades of industry experience to call on, we’re proud to hold accreditations from leading trade associations and bodies such as British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the British Fire Consortium, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).
If you’d like to find out more about Scutum South East, get in touch with our friendly team or explore our products and services on our site.