Somebody’s Watching…..


 Retail theft, or ‘shrinkage’ is unfortunately a fact of retail life.    Even more unfortunate in 2012, retail businesses reported nearly 45% of theft was done internally by their own employees!    Whether items are walking out the door unpaid, or money is missing from the till, battling store theft requires persistence and consistency.


    Having store security equipment in place as well as good security procedures helps to identify problems and patterns.   This is one of the most customer friendly actions a retail store can take, because less shrink equals less cost for consumers!    Having a secure store environment also protects employees as well.


     Security cameras are an essential piece of equipment for any retail store or convenience store.  Placement of these cameras should be stationed to record key areas such as entrances, check-out, hard-to-see areas, stock rooms and high end merchandise areas.  Giving notice to both customers and employees through signage that the store has security surveillance will also help deter theft.    A inexpensive way to supplement your security presence is through mock security cameras, which are motion sensor cameras that remind customers that they are being watched.


     Security mirrors are useful in helping to identify where customers are in the store, if they are not in a good line of sight.  Many mirrors, when well placed, give a store clerk the ability to see around corners and be well aware of their environment.   

Many retailers go one step further with security measures by adding a door sensor.  All merchandise is tagged with anti-theft tracking tags which, when not disarmed at check-out, will set off an alarm at the entrance of the store.  This alerts employees and security to potential shop-lifters.  There are simulated sensors and tags that give the appearance of a fully armed system as well .


     Lock high end merchandise in display cases or wallcases and to keep products secure.  Each case should have 2 keys – one for employee access and one spare in case the other is lost.   Cable wiring with anti-theft sensors may be a good option for high end merchandise that cannot be secured in a glass showcase.  In the stock room, securing merchandise with a grid panel cabinet keeps products seen, but not easily accessible.


     Establishing good cash drawer procedures can cut down on employee theft or mistakes upon check-out.   Using a drop safe beside each register stand can allow the manager on duty to occasionally skim the till when the cash levels are high, mark the cash and secure it easily until the end of day counting.   This method also secures cash from theft in the case of outside theft as well.


      With a good security system to deter break-ins, and security equipment within the store environment retail store owners and convenience store owners can be more vigilant against theft.   This type of secure environment encourages customers to feel at ease, and helps employees to become a partner in lowering shop-lifting incidences.  Secure customers, and empowered employees make a great foundation for a terrific buying experience!