Christmas is the busiest time of the year for many retailers, but have you also considered that it is a hectic time for thieves and criminals too?
The main reason why Christmas is a big target when it comes to crimes against retailers is due to the increased number of customers in stores. This creates a perfect environment for thieves to operate, given staff are less able to keep a close eye on every customer that walk into the store, as well as the transactions that take place at the cash register. The examples of risks that retailers should consider and manage include:
- increased cash on site due to more sales;
- increased stock loss due to theft;
- higher number of people using counterfeit notes;
- more people using fake or stolen credit cards; and
- the risks for staff as well as customers from late night trading.
So what can you do to make your store safe and secure during the festive period? There are in fact a number of measures you can take which are not costly to implement.
Firstly, make sure the visibility within your store is not compromised due to having unusually large volumes of stock being piled up. You need to give your staff the best chance to see who is in the store, where they are and potentially what they are doing. Check and reposition security mirrors if necessary so customers become visible to your staff. Also, positioning expensive items close to cash registers where they can be seen will help staff to monitor them more closely.
Lighting would obviously play a part in helping visibility within the store, but you should also ensure car parks outside the store are well lit given the extended trading hours. This will reduce unwanted behaviour anywhere near your premises and enhance security for your staff as well as customers.
Meet and greet your customers when they walk in as this shows you are aware of their presence. In order to do this, you will need to have an adequate number of staff on the shop floor at all times – many shops hire Christmas temps to cover demand. This is a good idea, and won’t leave you overwhelmed with custom.
Theft, break-ins and vandalism often occur when the store is closed, and this is especially the case around the Christmas period, when there is an increased likelihood of alcohol fueled crimes at night. Therefore, you must make sure all entrances and windows are securely locked. Installing industrial grade roller shutters is a fantastic way to prevent actual break-ins and deter would be criminals. Other types of doors you may wish to consider include steel hinged doors and sectional overhead doors. Choose industrial grade doors because these are more effective, harder wearing and can be tailored to suit individual entrances to provide maximum security.
CCTV is a popular method of crime prevention also, and if the worst should happen you have a better chance of tracing any individuals who played a part in the incident.
Christmas should be an exciting and enjoyable time within retail environments – don’t let crime spoil things when in many cases, it can be easily prevented.