5 Security Tips for Retail Stores During the Holidays and Beyond
While 2020’s holiday retail environment will be vastly different that those of the past, store owners should still be aware of security threats, even in the throes of a worldwide pandemic. According to a 2020 study of retail economic activity by Jones Lang LaSalle, while it’s true that COVID-19 did some real damage to discretionary retail destination spots like entertainment, department stores, and fitness centers, a different story is emerging for essential retail stores as grocery, pet supplies, and home improvement stores which are seeing double digit growth over a year ago. So stores like The Home Depot, Costco, and Sam Ash music stores will be seeing thousands of customers, including a few shady ones. So, it is important for retail stores to keep their eyes peeled and be prepared to increase their attention toward safety. In addition to including two-way radios like the RCA RDR2500 into the retail store’s safety protocol, here are for additional safety tips to help keep you and your store safe during the Holiday’s.
Five Strategies to Beef-Up Your Retail Security
1. Seasonal Employees Can Create a Host of Challenges
Look, by and large seasonal employees are a huge asset to retail stores.They are honest workers that want to work hard during the months of October through January. However, the quick hiring processes can sometimes result in cutting corners on important security processes as background checks and detailed employee training. Also, seasonal employees are notoriously fickle creatures who may up and leave without notice. This tendency toward rapid turnover during the Holiday seasons can also promote careless behavior and set the tone toward internal theft.
The good news here is that loss prevention can be easily curtailed by making sure all seasonal employees are properly trained in proper store procedures and best practices, even if they are only going to be there a few weeks. Also teach them how to identify and respond to any shoplifting incident, which will help curb theft and create a sense of responsibility from all employees.
2. Beef Up on the Extra Security
Discount Two-Way Radio works with recommends hiring enough extra security to place them in vital, high-traffic areas such as entrances, exits and near cash registers. Avoid temporary security personnel if possible and be sure they are all properly and adequately trained. Also, make sure the security firm uses professional grade 2-way radio equipment like the RCA RDR2500.
When hiring a temporary security team, try to make sure you cover these important criteria:
- Make sure the security firm is willing to accommodate everything you need
- Research the company’s reputation with Yelp or other neighborhood apps like Nextdoor.
- Confirm the security officers are well trained.
- Double check the specific factors that will influence cost
3. Focus Your Attention on Closing Time
Security issues are particularly visible during the hours leading up to and just after closing time. This is the time when cash register totals are tallied and secured, and store merchandise is more vulnerable as late-night stragglers can be hidden and go unnoticed. So making sure that all customers are out of the store before the doors are locked should be considered a very important practice even when long lines and crowds of the holiday season can lead to confusion and mix-ups.
Another very important detail to observe when “battening down the hatches” during the closing hours is to make sure all back entrances are closed, as these are often propped open when employees step out for a break or when shipment is coming in. A back door left ajar does not only invite unwanted access, it also invites un protected exits!
Again, good training is important here, especially with seasonal employees. Finally, if your store is busy during the holidays or even during normal months and you sell high value items, you might want to consider using an access control system to keep certain areas open only to people who are authorized to enter.
4. Create a Strategic Store Layout
One of the ways many stores rack up stock loss is by not having a strategic floor layout that reduces corners, crevasses, and coigns. By opening up your floor area, you can make it much easier for staff to observe customers and secure the sales floor area. Arrange your store with visibility and surveillance in mind, making sure not to create blind spots. Also consider adding lighting to dark corners and add video recording equipment to drastically reduce the threat of theft. Also consider incorporating two-way radios like the RCA RDR2500 to improve communications among your employees as they help monitor the store.
5. Brush Up That Surveillance System
Making sure you have a robust and dynamic security system is a vital part of retail operations year-round, and especially during the months of October through January. There can be many elements to a surveillance system’s anatomy, but for sure you should include a closed-circuit television camera system and a fleet of professional grade walkie talkies that incorporate either 1 wire, 2 wire, or 3 wire surveillance kit earpieces for discrete communications throughout your team.
While the Holiday season is particularly vulnerable for security breaches, these are some good practices that every retail store owner, manager, or security supervisor should review and apply where appropriate.