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6 Security Measures Your Store Can Take to Stay Safe

Smart deadbolt locks

With retail crime continuing to grow in Britain, store owners are beginning to take proactive measures to protect both themselves and their livelihoods. Fortunately, there are many relatively low-cost and actionable approaches that can be effective in shoring up store security. 

The figures surrounding retail crime are likely to be concerning for business owners up and down the country. According to the British Retail Consortium’s annual Crime Survey for 2023, the total cost of retail crime stood at £1.76 billion for the year ending 2022. The figure represents an increase of more than £250 million on the year prior. 

These eye-watering figures come as the result of £953 million lost to customer theft, in which eight million incidents were reported over the period, and £715 spent on crime prevention measures throughout the year. 

Survey figures also show that more than 850 instances of retail violence and abuse per day have risen significantly beyond their pre-Covid highs of 450 back in 2019/20. 

For business owners, retail crime can lead to not only the loss of stock and costly repairs but also comes with the threat of abuse, injury, or much worse. 

To add to the difficult circumstances for retail store owners, costly security measures may cause in-store price rises to balance expenditures that could threaten your existing customer base. It’s for this reason that security upgrades can be a fine line to toe. 

With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look at six relatively cost-effective security measures that you can easily implement to help bring peace of mind that yourself and your store can be a place that’s safe from harm:

1. Look to Smart Deadbolt Locks

Smart deadbolt locks can be an excellent way of ramping up your store security without having to break the bank in the process. 

Installing a smart lock that can offer limited remote access and the ability to lock and unlock using an integrated smartphone app can be a great way of ensuring that your premises are as safe as possible from intrusion. 

With a zinc alloy exterior component and biometric fingerprint scanner, keypad, and more traditional keyway combination, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro WiFi Smart Deadbolt can be a strong solution in keeping criminals out of your premises. 

You can even shore up your security with the installation of a steel or brass deadbolt, and at a relatively low commercial locksmith cost in comparison to other more expensive measures. 

2. Refresh Your Store’s Layout

Is your retail store inadvertently helping criminals to get away with shoplifting? Luckily, you can take steps to limit the instances of theft your retail store experiences simply by altering the layout of the shop. 

For instance, moving your cash register closer to your front door means that customers will need to pass by when leaving, making it more difficult to get away with shoplifting items. 

It’s also worth lowering your displays to make it easier for you to track suspicious visitors to your store. If you’re an outlet with changing rooms or demonstration areas, limiting the number of items a customer can take and keeping private areas of the store locked may help to prevent shoplifting from taking place. 

While many stores opt to keep their safes in a back room, it could be more beneficial to have them located in at the front of a store if you’re based on a busy and well-lit street. This will mean that a potential burglary could be easier to spot for passers-by. 

3. Take Your Intelligence to the Next Level with AI Security Systems

CCTV

It’s always a good idea to utilise a CCTV system in a retail store, but having somebody on hand to monitor suspicious activity can be costly, and human error can make their presence ineffective against shrewd shoplifters. 

Artificial intelligence has been one of the biggest technological advancements in recent times, and its ability to use pattern-recognition technology to spot criminal behaviour through body language analysis means that you can benefit from having your own expert security guard present at a fraction of the cost. 

These AI systems can even monitor stock to identify whether unexpected losses are occurring throughout the store. 

4. Install Mirrors to Monitor Blind Spots

Blindspot mirrors

Not all security measures need to be connected to the cloud. The use of convex or round-shaped mirrors can work wonders in providing you with a view of every area of your shop without having to leave your cash register. 

Many retail store owners can struggle with blind spots, and mirrors are an unintrusive way of ensuring that you can be wise to crime without having to worry about the areas that you can’t see. 

To gain an idea of where your blind spots are, simply go to your cash register and check whether you’d be able to spot a shoplifter in every part of your store. While it can be difficult to gain a visual insight into every nook and cranny of your shop, installing mirrors in areas that hold a lot of stock or more valuable items can be key. 

5. Keep The Outside of Your Store Well-Lit

While it’s becoming common practice to leave lights on inside your stores to prevent burglars from taking advantage of the dark conditions, it could certainly help to shine a light on the outside of your store as well. 

Investing in relatively low-cost spotlights above your store signage can not only keep the entirety of your premises well-lit but also make it more noticeable to prospective customers. 

“By keeping the parking lot and exterior well lit, your cameras will be able to capture the thieves and their license plate numbers,” explained Sean Nolan, founder and operations director at Streamline Telecom Inc. 

6. Upgrade to Secure Mailboxes

While it can be one thing making your store more secure, it’s also worth taking the time to add an extra layer of security for your mailbox, which often houses confidential and valuable information about you and your business. 

By investing in a secure mailbox, you can make sure that your letters, parcels, and packages sent to stores don’t fall into the wrong hands. 

7. Train Employees to be Alert to Suspicious Behaviour

Creating a standardised shoplifting policy and training employees to understand how to handle issues related to suspicious customers can be an essential way of keeping your staff prepared for the worst, and may help to keep them safe should they detect criminal activity. 

There are many online employee security awareness courses that can be taken online, and this can help to improve the development of your team not only as a key component in theft prevention but also in helping staff to take control of their own safety. 

Training can help to teach employees to spot suspicious behaviour, to take caution when answering probing questions about the business, and to deal with aggressive or violent customers. 

While the cost of retail crime has risen to £1.76 billion per year, this doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank to keep your business protected. 

Both smart technology and more simple precautions can combine to keep your store safe from criminal behaviour without breaking the bank. But more importantly, taking these measures can help you to gain peace of mind that your stock, business, and personnel can stay safe should they become a target in the future.

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