How to improve your retail security

Shop security is a big concern for any proprietor. Everyone knows about the basics, but if you’re looking to protect your store and prevent theft, there are extra measures you can take. Follow these tips to improve your shop security.

Use people power
Your staff are your biggest assets to shop security during opening hours. If they’re visible on the shop floor, they’ll provide a deterrent to potential shoplifters. Get them to greet customers as they enter the shop (it’s good customer service, and also shows you’re observing who comes and goes). Make sure till workers are fully trained to be on the alert for shoplifters, spotting suspicious behaviours, and being familiar with techniques like price tag switching.

Keep your shopfront secure
Your shopfront is there to tempt people through the doors; but if shop security is not adequate, it could also tempt intruders. A well-secured shopfront can’t easily be broken into; strong, aluminium shopfronts with laminated glass are robust and resistant to force. Door security should be reviewed and where appropriate locking systems to PAS024 should be employed. Consider getting a professional locksmith or glazing company to assess your current security setup. They may recommend new shop windows, doors or locks.

Optimise your shop layout for theft prevention
There are a number of simple things you can do to reduce the potential for loss through theft in your shop. Think about your shop layout and avoid putting small but valuable items within easy reach; consider keeping them behind the counter instead. Install mirrors and lighting throughout the shop, to ensure that the entire shop floor is within plain sight at all times, with no blind spots. Monitor what’s brought in to changing rooms and limit the number of items customers can try on. Make sure shoppers have to walk past the checkout tills on their way out of the shop.

Optimise your shop layout for theft prevention
There are a number of simple things you can do to reduce the potential for loss through theft in your shop. Think about your shop layout and avoid putting small but valuable items within easy reach; consider keeping them behind the counter instead. Install mirrors and lighting throughout the shop, to ensure that the entire shop floor is within plain sight at all times, with no blind spots. Monitor what’s brought in to changing rooms and limit the number of items customers can try on. Make sure shoppers have to walk past the checkout tills on their way out of the shop.

Introduce visible security measures
Alarm systems, CCTV, security personnel on the doors and signs letting people know that shoplifters will be prosecuted, are all effective visual indicators that you are proactive about shop security. While they are very useful for catching shoplifters and securing prosecutions, they also act as deterrents – many potential shoplifters may decide it’s just not worth the risk.

Destroy sensitive documents and keep passwords confidential
Shop security doesn’t always concern shoplifting. If you’re not shredding or destroying confidential information, you may leave yourself open to fraud or cyber crime. Lock away all sensitive data in secure filing cabinets, and invest in an industrial shredder for financial documents and other confidential papers. Don’t be cavalier with log-ins and passwords; limit access to sensitive information, use passwords that can’t easily be guessed, and change them regularly.

Check staff references
As we’ve seen, your shop security is only as good as the people who work there. It’s important to vet every employee carefully when taking on new staff, and check up on their references every time. During induction, emphasise to your staff that you take theft and other offences seriously. Don’t grant access to keys or passwords to anyone who hasn’t yet earned your trust.