5 Ways to Boost Your Store Security


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Loss prevention is a standard part of the operations of more prominent brands and chain stores, but the smaller independent sites often neglect it. Unfortunately, shoplifting in these locations is an increasing issue that cannot be avoided for long – the impact on the bottom line for a small business owner can be devastating. 

Here are five cost-effective options for improving the security of your store with a fast return on investment. 

1: Convex Security Mirrors 

A convex mirror is a reflective surface that curves outward toward the person looking into it. This allows for a broader field of view, which makes it the perfect tool for the small store owner –install the mirror where you can see it from the register and where the enlarged viewpoint covers any ‘blind spots.’ In this way, you can effectively monitor what is happening behind racks or in aisles that you cannot typically easily monitor – allowing you to spot shoplifters. 

The mirror and most of our security measures also act as a deterrent. Your typical shoplifter will look for an unobserved place where they can bag or pocket the items they plan to steal, and seeing the mirror will let them know they are being watched. 

2: Security Camera Systems

Security cameras are more affordable than ever, with entire systems and software now under the price of a single camera just a handful of years ago. Cameras are a great option, as they can be used as a live monitoring tool (similar to the convex mirror) and as a recording device to prove a crime if necessary. 

Be sure to place cameras so the store is effectively covered, and you can track shoplifters easily. You can also use the recorded footage to review particular periods – so even if you do not notice a shoplifter as they commit their crime, you will know who to watch out for next time. In many cases, a ‘successful’ shoplifting event will encourage the criminal to come back and try again – so make a note of who to look out for. 

You can find security camera systems that record locally and use cloud storage, in a range of definitions and various other features – so you will need to research what type of system you prefer carefully and would work within your store. 

3. Security Tags

Security tags are typically used in clothing stores and work in tandem with a radio frequency monitoring system. In brief, you will have a monitor installed around the doors of your store, with which all of your security tags will communicate. An alarm will sound if an item leaves the store, or more specifically, the tag leaves the store. 

These tags are affixed to your stock before they are displayed for purchase and quickly removed at the cash register. While they are easy to take off with the correct magnetic equipment (very little training required),they are challenging for the shoplifter to take off. If an individual does manage to take the item out of the store without triggering the alarm, they will still be left with an item of clothing that has the tag attached – and are likely to damage their stolen goods while trying to remove it. 

4: Security Labels 

A security label is operated similarly to a security tag but is designed to be affixed to a broader range of product types. The label is a sticker that can be applied to non-clothing consumer goods, including books, cosmetics, and groceries. 

Another key difference between security tags and security labels is that the tag is removed at checkout and can be reused, whereas a security label is deactivated and left on the item. As these are single-use security products, many store owners only use them on high-risk or high-value products – packs of steak rather than chips, for example. 

5: Security Guards 

Having a security guard on-site is an excellent two-pronged approach to reducing losses through shoplifting. The guard can patrol the store, paying particular attention to blindspots and areas where high-risk items are stocked, and provides a physical deterrent that far out-performs other types of security measures. Shoplifters may see a camera and attempt to find a way to steal that takes advantage of its position or the direction it is pointing – a security guard can be infinitely more flexible and attentive, making staff (and you) feel safer at work

The key, however, is ensuring the security guard is trained correctly. If an untrained person is used for security purposes, then there is an increased risk of a host of ethical or legal issues – including the use of excessive force, improper detention, or profiling based on race, age, or gender, for example. 

Hiring a security guard is an ongoing operational cost instead of the one-off price of buying and installing a convex mirror (for example). You can mitigate this cost somewhat by only having the personnel on-site in particularly high-loss periods – around holidays, weekends, evenings, etc. Assess when you incur the most loss and work out a schedule accordingly – remember, as long as your reduced losses exceed the cost of the guard, you are profiting. 

Alliance Training and Testing

At Alliance Training and Testing, we have more than 100 years of combined experience in law enforcement and private security – so we know a lot about protecting your store. If you want an employee to train and become certified in security in Tennessee, our courses are 100% online, accessible on various devices, and considered the most comprehensive available. For less than $80, your employee can become trained to state-required standards – reach out today to learn more.

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Alliance Training and Testing LLC
Nashville, Tennessee, United States