Safety and security in the retail sector are year-round concerns, but the holidays bring their own unique set of challenges. Between Black Friday and the New Year, keeping inventory on your shelves and mitigating theft risks takes some serious consideration. November and December represent a whopping 30 percent of retailer’s annual sales, and the winter months can be a make or break time for holiday markets and pop up stores, the latter of which are often less experienced in loss prevention strategies.
Last year, shoplifting, employee theft and other kinds of fraud cost retailers close to $50 billion. According to a national security survey, performed by the National Retail Federation trade group, 36.5 percent of missing inventory was shoplifted, and 30 percent of missing items were stolen by store employees. Data also shows that the median loss in a shoplifting incident hovers just below $800.
How can holiday markets and seasonal pop up stores equip themselves to face these challenges? Retailers can minimize theft and fraud by adopting some of the following tactics, offered by the experts at Maryland Security Professionals. We offer short term and long-term security solutions for businesses that need the latest in video surveillance capabilities, including wireless technology for remote monitoring, fixed mount systems and covert security cameras.
Hire & train employees early
From a retailer’s perspective, it’s important to start the hiring process early for temporary or seasonal staff. You need time to thoroughly vet potential employees, conduct background checks and ensure they are properly trained. Ensure they are well-equipped to handle large numbers of holiday shoppers.
Practice good cash control
Overflowing cash registers are easy targets for snatch-and-grab criminals, especially in busy outdoor markets. Minimize loss by keeping the bare minimum of cash in the register. Schedule routine cash pickups at registers throughout the day or put extra funds in a secure drop safe.
Check inventory numbers regularly
Reduce inventory shrinkage by taking actual physical stock of your merchandise as often as possible. Getting real-time numbers on a regular basis is one of the easiest ways to pinpoint loss, whether due to error, employee theft or shoplifting.
Utilize video surveillance
Security cameras are a proven tool to thwart both internal and external theft. Cameras trained on cash registers can monitor for evidence of employee fraud. Install cameras around the perimeter of the store and with wide-angle views of valuable merchandise is recommended. Some retailers will benefit from video surveillance with wireless capabilities, giving you a live feed from your smart phone, tablet or computer.
Do exit bag checks
When alarm-driven security tags are not an option, consider placing an employee at the exit door to so bag/receipt checks.
Protect your business for the holidays
Maryland Security Professionals can help prepare your business for the holidays. Schedule a free security audit and let us develop a comprehensive security plan that suits your needs. We provide cutting-edge surveillance systems for commercial applications in Washington D.C. and throughout mid-Atlantic region.
- National Retail Federation, National Retail Security Survey 2017 https://nrf.com/resources/retail-library/national-retail-security-survey-2017
- Time, Shoplifting and Other Fraud Cost Retailers Nearly $50 Billion Last Year http://time.com/money/4829684/shoplifting-fraud-retail-survey/