The Holiday shopping season is in full swing, and that means thousands of visitors descending on retail stores daily. Alongside those thousands of legitimate customers will likely be a few shady characters and potential thieves, especially with the hectic scenes that the shopping rush can bring. It’s important for retail stores to stay on their toes and be prepared for the coming onslaught. Here’s a few tips to get them ready.
1. Beware Seasonal Employees
Most seasonal employees are honest workers, but the quick hiring processes that retailers use when finding temporary season help can sometimes result in cutting corners that really shouldn’t be cut, such as background checks and employee training. The rapid turnover of the holiday season can also promote careless behavior.
But since loss prevention begins internally, be sure all seasonal employees are properly trained in store protocols and best practices, even if they are only going to be there a few weeks. Also teach them how to properly and legally respond to a shoplifting incident, to help stem theft.
2. Staff Extra Security
As with seasonal employees, the craze of the shopping season calls for added security. Staff extra security personnel if possible, and place them in vital, high-traffic areas such as entrances, exits and near cash registers. Avoid temporary security personnel if possible and be sure they are all properly and adequately trained.
3. Pay Extra Attention At Closing Time
When the store shuts down for the night, securing loose cash and storing merchandise away get even more important with the added foot traffic the season sees. Also, be sure that all back entrances are closed, as these are often propped open when employees step out for a break or when shipment is coming in. And, make sure that all customers are out of the store before the doors are locked – that’s considered standard retail practice, but the long lines and crowds of the holiday season can lead to confusion and mix-ups on behalf of the staff.
Again, train seasonal employees to check these vital locations just in case. Finally, if your store is particularly busy or sells high-value goods that warrant extra security, consider an access control system with prox badge or PIN code to keep backrooms and stock off limits.
4. Prepare the Store
Increasing floor visibility and layout can make it dramatically easier for staff to monitor and secure the floor. Arrange items with visibility and surveillance in mind, minding security cameras and being sure not to create blind spots. Adding extra lighting in dim corners can help video recording efforts and minimize the risk of theft.
5. Brush Up That Surveillance System
Surveillance security systems are vital parts of retail operations year-round, but especially so during the wild times of the holiday season. If you don’t use or maintain your CCTV often, it may be time for an audit, ensuring that cameras cover the entire perimeter of the store without blind spots or lighting issues. Be sure your video storage is ready to handle the increased hours the season often brings.
If there was ever a time for video analytics, this is it. Software such as traffic mapping can help you analyze and identify key traffic spots in your store and staff them appropriately, as well as focus surveillance efforts over there. And appearance tracking and incident prediction can help you keep an eye on suspicious behavior throughout the store.