Retailers are engaged in a constant battle against shoplifters. In fact, in 2019, theft cost UK retailers a total of £4,821 million.
With figures like this, it’s clear that shops and stores of all sizes need to put in place effective retail security measures to reduce their losses.
The good news is that, since our establishment in 1996, we’ve learned some quick, easy security hacks that retail store owners can implement today to reduce the chances that their store is targeted by criminals.
Here are our top five.
Shoplifters are drawn to a poorly lit store like a moth to a flame. In fact, Hollister – a store well-known for its atmospheric, dark mood lighting – has been known to attract more than its fair share of shoplifters simply because it is so dark.
To ensure you’re not making life easy for shoplifters, make sure your store is properly lit – including in corners, nooks and other difficult-to-illuminate areas.
Importantly, your store should also be lit overnight. Overnight security lighting will make it difficult for anyone that’s illicitly entered your store to remain unnoticed – by both passers-by and security cameras.
Many shoplifters and thieves are nervy types. They know what they’re doing is illegal, and the idea of getting into trouble worries them.
By shouting about the security measures you have in place with signs (“shoplifters will be prosecuted”, “smile, you’re on CCTV, “shoplifting is a crime”, etc.) you will deter many shoplifters from trying anything untoward.
Similarly, if your store has CCTV or a manned security presence, make sure that both are visible to everyone who enters your store – for example, position cameras in prominent places and ensure guards are actively patrolling your store.
As a retail store owner, customer service is already likely one of your priorities. However, good customer service can also act as a criminal deterrent.
Thieves like to move around unnoticed. As such, if a member of your team speaks to them, they are much less likely to try to steal anything from you. However, these kinds of interactions should appear natural – after all, you don’t want to scare off legitimate customers.
Simply ensuring that anyone who’s been in your store for a few minutes without buying anything is asked if they need help can be enough to reduce your store’s chances of experiencing shoplifting.
“Facing” products is an effective way to prevent shoplifting and theft. This technique involves placing all merchandise on the edge of the shelf (ideally, one just row deep). This means that, when an item is taken, there’s an obvious gap.
This makes shoplifters less likely to attempt to steal anything (since it is obvious when an item has been taken) and allows your staff to monitor whether everything that has been taken has been paid for.
Although facing products may give your staff more work – since they’ll have to make more runs to the storeroom – it is especially important when it comes to high-value items.
Your staff are your first line of defence against shoplifters. As such, you need to create a policy which tells staff exactly what to do if they witness a crime taking place.
This could be alerting on-site security, their manager or calling the police. However, staff should never put themselves in any danger. Accordingly, your policy will make staff safety an absolute priority.
In general, your staff should be focused on preventing shoplifting from taking place rather than apprehending suspected shoplifters. As such, you should never put pressure on employees to approach a suspected thief.
The single most important thing you can do to protect your retail store is to procure the services of a professional retail security provider.
A professional retail security provider will have the experience and expertise required to ensure your store is maximally protected. This will include the provision of services including:
Working with you, a good retail security company will be able to identify your store’s security weaknesses and implement effective countermeasures. They will also be able to act in an advisory capacity, ensuring that your team adhere to up-to-date security best practice, that you have effective security protocols in place and that your team are properly trained.
Established in 1996, Churchill Security is a national security provider – able to supply a comprehensive range of retail security solutions to businesses operating throughout the UK
At Churchill, we build customised retail security packages. This means, after an initial consultation, we will build a tailored security package made to meet your store’s specific needs.
Because we’re able to offer a complete range of security solutions – including manned security, mobile security, fire watch services, CCTV installation and monitoring, key holding and alarm response, and more – our security solution will ensure your store is properly protected from theft, vandalism and other crime.
Churchill Security has been ranked in the top five percent of all ACS Pacesetters – and our services have been classed as “industry leading”. Our security officers are all SIA licensed and are trained to the highest standards.
Churchill Security maintains an average of 350 active sites throughout the UK. Our retention rate is 95 percent and we have an average alarm response time of thirty minutes.
Churchill Support Services is a national retail security provider. We are able to provide a comprehensive range of security solutions to retail businesses throughout the UK.