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Why Retail Security Is Important For Businesses: Protecting Against Theft and Shoplifting

Updated: 2 days ago


retail security officer

When it comes to the security of your retail business, you can never be too careful. Retail security includes everything from physical security measures like locks and alarms, to more comprehensive security systems that track employee activity and monitor customer behaviour.

In this article we will cover what is retail security by covering the points below:

  • How to gain security knowledge to be able to boost your retail security?

  • The top five main challenges retailers face when it comes to security

  • Why security guards are as important as electronic security?

  • How to find the right security guard agency for your store?

  • Recommended best security tips you can implement right now!

How to gain security knowledge to be able to boost your retail security?


One of the main security challenges retail establishments face is a lack of information. Many people are not aware of the different measures that can be taken to protect their store from shoplifting in the United Kingdom. Retail stores will never be able to entirely eliminate shoplifting, but there are certain measures it may take to lower occurrences. The main reasons why a shoplifter would select your store to target would be:

  1. The store generally appears to have poor security measures.

  2. They have a high chance of getting away with the crime.

  3. If they do get caught, they will be let off with no prosecution?

Lets look at the importance of those three triggers.


1.The store generally appears to have poor security measures.

Factors that would entice a shoplifter would include:

  1. Aisle layout - Are there multiple high value items scattered throughout the store and easy exit routes? The store should be designed with one way systems in mind so that customers have a single point of entry and exit which is near to the pay point.

  2. Restricted Access - Is there easy access to stock rooms and staff areas or are they under lock and key to prevent people from entering?

  3. Blind Spots - Are there blind spots or can staff easily see the shop floor?

  4. Till positioning - Is it near to the exit and does it give staff a good view across the retail establishment?

  5. Stock placement - Is your high value stock locked, tagged or near areas under constant staff supervision?


2.They have a high chance of getting away with the crime.

In order to reduce the likelihood of a shoplifter getting away with the crime in retail stores, it is important to have an effective security system in place. This may include:

CCTV - A visible CCTV system that can monitor wider areas will act as a deterrent to potential shoplifters. It is important that the footage is of a high quality and that it covers all areas of the store.

Alarms - A loud alarm will notify staff of a potential shoplifter and may also deter the criminal from proceeding with the theft.

Security guards - A visual deterrent with a keen eye in preventing theft can also provide a quick response in the event of a shoplifting incident.

If they do get caught, they will be let off with no prosecution?

In order to increase the likelihood of a shoplifter being prosecuted, it is important to have a good working relationship with the police. This may include:

Sharing intelligence - If you have information about a potential shoplifter, it is important to share this with the police. This will help them to build a case against the individual.

Reporting all incidents - It is important to report all incidents of shoplifting, regardless of the value of the retail goods stolen. This will help the police to build a case against the individual and may also lead to a prosecution.


The top five main challenges retailers face when it comes to security


1. Shrink and theft at the point of sale


Preventing shoplifting has been one of the primary concerns – if not the primary concern – for retail security since shops opened and hasn't gone away in the last few years. Whether it’s taking cash from the register, too many invalid or voided transactions, or product slipping through the front or back doors, theft and shoplifting are threats shop owners are accustomed to facing and that is internal and external shrinkage.


2. Theft after hours


When the shop is closed and no one is there to watch your merchandise or back room – even if you have cameras in place - some people consider that as an invitation. A big opportunity for crime and theft is after hours, when the lights are out and no one is in your shop.


3. Theft from the back door during business hours


Even during trading hours - your back door is always at risk from people entering. Whether it’s employees taking breaks and leaving the door open, thinking it’s an easy and unmonitored way to sneak some product out, or just the assumption that the back door is unlocked if the retail store is open, your back door is typically a big risk. When integrated to video, a picture of the incident can be sent to a mobile device alerting you to the event.


4. Injury Claims


Liability claims such as slip and falls are still one of the biggest issues in safety and security in retail and claim value will vary depending on the severity of the accident.

Having video footage of an accident can make the biggest difference. In the case of an accident, video footage can help the authorities identify the event, the people involved, and handle the situation accordingly. It’s relatively simple to put cameras at the front and back of your shop – just make sure they’re recording enough time so you can grab the saved footage when you need it.


5.Property Damage


A shop that has been burgled

This is always a concern for retail store owners, as it can be expensive to repair or replace damaged merchandise, fixtures, and equipment. In addition, damage can also lead to injuries if customers or employees are hurt in the process. Loss of earnings as the shop may not be able to open for some time and bad for the brands reputation. Some of the most common types of damage that can occur in a retail setting include:

* Vandalism - This can include everything from graffiti to broken windows and damaged merchandise. Vandalism can be costly to repair and can also give your store a negative image.

* Burglary - This is a serious type of damage that can occur when criminals break into your shop after hours and steal merchandise or damage property. Burglaries can be costly and dangerous, so it is important to take measures to prevent them.

* Fire - Fires are one of the most devastating types of damage that can occur in a retail setting. In addition to the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property, fires can also cause injuries or even death.


Why security guards are as as important as a technology system?


Luxury retail security officer in Bond Street London - Fahrenheit Security

1. They act as a deterrent


The mere presence of a retail security guard or security teams can be enough to deter would-be criminals from attempting to break into your shop or commit other crimes. This is because criminals are less likely to attempt a crime if they know there is someone there who could stop them.


2. They can provide a human element


While technology is important, it cannot replace the human element when it comes to security. This is because retail security guards can utilise excellent customer service skills and interaction that technology cannot. For example, they can greet customers, help them find what they are looking for, and provide assistance if there is an incident or emergency situations.


3. They can respond quickly to incidents


As part of their duties and primary role retail guards with a valid SIA licence can monitor and detect irregular shoplifting activity, use their better judgement and respond quickly to incidents, whether it is a crime in progress or an accident. This is because they are on-site and can act immediately, whereas it may take time for someone to notice an incident if they are not there.


4. They can provide a physical presence


In some cases, a physical presence is necessary in order to deter crime. This is because criminals are less likely to attempt a crime if they know there is someone there who could stop them. Additionally, a physical presence can also provide a level of customer service and interaction that technology cannot.


5. They can offer peace of mind


Retail security officers as a by product of their duties can offer peace of mind to shop owners and employees, as well as customers. This is because retail security officers job is to ensure the safety of everyone on the premises. Additionally, they can help to resolve any incidents that may occur, which can provide a sense of relief for everyone involved.


How to find the right security guard agency for your store?


Security companies in London - Fahrenheit Security

The retail industry is vast as is the security industry. Start your search for a partner for your security arrangements with Fahrenheit Security because:

1. Fahrenheit Security is a highly-rated security guard agency that has experience in providing security for the retail sector in compliance with the security industry authority regulations.

2. The agency offers a variety of security services that can be tailored to the specific needs of the job.

3. Fahrenheit Security is a trusted and reliable security agency that has a proven track record of providing excellent security services of a personable nature in high risk operations dealing with large volumes of the general public.

4. The security agency and its security guards are committed to providing the highest level of service and satisfaction on the job.

5. Fahrenheit Security is a affordable security guard agency that offers a variety of payment options to fit your budget.


Recommended best ten free security tips you can implement right now!


We would highly recommend these low cost security solutions be implemented in your shop right away to help combat shoplifting:

  1. Shelving / Stock Height - Do not stack stock so high it restricts the view of the shop floor, clear lines of sight help protect your stock from thieves.

  2. Establish a "Priority Route" for increased surveillance - Place staff in your desirable stock areas and when walking round the store ensure they are trained to walk along a priority route to regularly patrol that desirable area.

  3. Desirable stock level - Only keep out as much desirable stock as you would normally sell on a given day. If it is along a priority route and low stock will be hopefully spotted by staff and replenished.

  4. Shelving restrictors - Shelving with a plastic restrictor deter snatch and run offences with multiple items and is super cheap and effective to implement.

  5. Hanger placement - In a clothing or fashion store place hangers on the railing in an alternative sequence to again avoid a mass grab and go attempt.

  6. Cabinets - Display high value items in glass cabinets under lock and key. For jewellery and watch stores laminated glass cabinets are a must. This tip may not be free but is super low cost to implement.

  7. Fitting rooms - keep the fitting rooms attended to and count the items in and out.

  8. Keep shop windows clear at night - Take special care to remove desirable items from the shop front.

  9. The store entrance - keep this manned throughout trading hours in order to meet and greet customers and show a security presence.

  10. Display warning signs and notices - Let shoplifters know they will be prosecuted.

One of London's leading security companies


Fahrenheit Security is a leading retail security agency in the security industry, operating in London and Manchester. We offer a wide range of security services, from physical security measures like locks and alarms, to more comprehensive security systems that track employee activity and monitor customers. We're also happy to tailor our services, job description and security responsibilities to your specific needs. Contact our customer relations team today for a free quote on 02074095291.


Check out our blog if your looking to hire a security guard agency in London by clicking the following link:

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