Retail crime is one of the biggest problems facing superstores and small retailers across the market, and with the holidays coming, it doesn’t get any better. The U.S. retail industry loses over $45 million each year as a result of inventory shrinkage, according to Face First statistics. From shoplifting to internal theft, fraud and organized retail crime, retailers face a wide range of challenges, especially during holidays when they deal with more customers and add more new inventory. This can have a crippling effect on profit margins and business operations.
That’s why retailers need to adopt a forward-looking strategy that includes smart options like installing advanced retail security cameras to prevent retail crime during busy festive seasons. Here is why those security measures are important.
More Shoppers Mean an Increased Risk of Theft
It’s no secret that most customers enjoy the frenzy that comes with bigger and better deals that retailers offer during the holidays. While this means brisk business for retailers, the increased number of shoppers during the festive seasons also comes with its own fair share of risks, such as shoplifting. In fact, organized shoplifting gangs in major cities have been reported to steal more than $200,000 in a single excursion. Using tactics such as creating diversions, like an argument, they draw the attention of employees from accomplices who steal merchandise.
Organized Retail Crime (ORC) alone results in retail industry losses of up to $30 billion each year. With such high numbers, it’s easy to see why retailers need to invest more in tools and technologies that help them beef up holiday shopping security and reduce shrinkage and loss in their stores. This includes installing commercial-grade IP retail security cameras both inside and outside their stores to help them monitor the movement of customers and workers in their stores at any given time. Such systems give retail owners peace of mind.
Retailers should also watch out for any unusual signs like large groups of people leaving and re-entering the store or mall, shoppers depositing merchandise in multiple vehicles with usually out-of-state license plates and potential buyers frequently communicating with mobile phones or other handheld devices. The way you display your merchandise in your store also plays a huge role in preventing shoplifting. Have visible supervisors on the sales floor, evaluate daily transactions, review your retail security camera surveillance videos regularly and validate any deleted or voided sales to mitigate theft.
Temporary Workers Could Pose a Threat
A 2017 National Retail Security Survey notes that employee theft amounted to 30% of inventory shrink in retail stores. Temporary employees are the driving force behind continued retail operations whenever retailers are dealing with worker shortages during holidays. But the fact is, temporary workers aren’t as invested in the business as full-time workers. The temporary nature, and relatively lower position and compensation may fuel inside theft among some workers.
Organized gangs also place workers within retail stores as employees to facilitate crimes like robberies and shoplifting. That’s why seasonal workers should never have access to security information like keys, alarm codes and even retail security camera systems. To avoid insider theft from workers during the busy holidays, you have to begin from the hiring process. That means vetting each worker extensively, performing background checks, and planning enough time for sufficient training and onboarding of seasonal hires.
Evaluate each worker’s experience before assigning roles and consider pairing them with a more experienced permanent worker until they can perform tasks on their own. You must also communicate company policies and protocols on theft clearly, and consistently enforce them whenever appropriate. Keep your employees happy to also reduce cases of internal theft.
Increased Inventory Often Creates Weak Points
Retailers face a huge task to meet exploding customer demands and ensure timely deliveries during holidays. While smart businesses always plan for this in advance, there’s no telling what to expect in sales with each coming holiday. However, increasing your inventory doesn’t mean that you forget to implement the usual inventory checks to avoid losses. Without proper inventory management, you create weak points that could easily be exploited. It’s vital to regularly stay on top of your inventory count to reduce shrinkage and internal theft.
While conducting a full inventory count can be difficult, make sure you’re doing cycle counting or partial stock takes on a daily or weekly basis. As part of beefing up holiday shopping security, make sure you’ve taken all necessary steps to secure your store. For instance, make sure you have installed retail security cameras and accessories like surveillance signs in strategic points in your warehouse, loading areas, sales points, delivery points, backdoors, packing lots and other vulnerable areas within your business premises to deter and reduce cases of theft.
A Rise in Fraud and Hacking of Retail Systems
Long lines, crowded stores, busy employees and increasingly sophisticated fraud and hacking techniques can make your Point of Sale (POS) a hotbed for retail crime. That’s why it’s essential to implement the latest security measures to secure your retail systems. To avoid cases of fraud, watch out for any form of equipment tampering by frequently inspecting all your POS equipment, PIN entry devices, and credit card terminals. Signs could include missing screws, broken seals, extraneous wires or additional labels.
You should also physically secure your POS/checkout area and keep valuable information from prying eyes. Make use of secure stands, shelves and security cables to prevent unauthorized removal. Also, install POS retail security cameras to monitor all your sales points constantly and secure your POS network and encrypt your network data. Use a separate network from your guest WiFi. Make sure that your POS technology is up-to-date and beef up your retail store website and e-commerce store security to avoid cases of losing customer data.
Keep Your Retail Store Safe and Secure
Anticipating any security threats is a matter of taking preventative steps and knowing what risks you face. For retailers, holidays pose a major challenge with the increased numbers of shoppers and inventory demands. Security your business should be a top priority, and there is no better way to start than installing surveillance systems like wireless security cameras that are compatible with smartphones for remote viewing. CCTV Security Pros brings you a wide range of security cameras and systems to suit your unique holiday shopping security needs.