As an owner of a coffee shop, florist, takeaway or newsagent, your aim is to attract footfall. However, around peak periods, such as the run-up to Christmas or big sale days, shops can be flooded with customers. As employees try to keep up with the high demand, many things go unnoticed, and both internal and external security becomes key. The festive season acts as a reminder that although it may be the most profitable time for your business, there is a need for you to look into your shop security.
Shop Security & Why It Matters – Keeping Your Retail Business Safe
According to The BRC Retail Crime Survey 2020, customer theft has now cost the retail industry in excess of £770 million. s You can potentially reduce the risk of thefts and losses by investing in a retail security system which includes anti-theft technology, such as video surveillance, door security system and a shop alarm. This security measure helps to protect your stock, your team members, and your shop, as well as to deter intruders from entering or stealing in the first place. Criminals are looking for easy opportunities to steal, so every obstacle you put in their way makes it less likely that they will try.
Install CCTV Cameras
The development of CCTV has been a major breakthrough in crime prevention. 96% of the total number of cameras in the UK are now operated by private businesses and homeowners. If you haven’t already done so, install security cameras as an extra layer of security to monitor your shop floor across entry, exit and cash register points. Anyone with the intent to steal from your shop will spot the security camera and be less inclined to proceed with shoplifting. In the event that a thief does steal or damage your stock, there will be footage recorded which can be passed to the police. Plus, security cameras can also be used to improve the layout of your shop. You can use your cameras to analyse your customers’ shopping patterns and adjust your floor plan to maximise revenue. Customer service is also key here, as is providing a good experience while on your premises.
EAS (electronic article surveillance) system
The installation of an alarm system is probably the single most effective step you can take to improve the security system of your shop. EAS includes a range of tools such as security tagging systems, stickers, labels and cables that are paired with sensors that trigger an alarm whenever an item is taken out of the store without payment or a tag is tampered with or forcefully removed.
Use good inventory management software
Are you currently monitoring your stock levels accurately? If you’re not clear as to what items are in your store or stockroom, then how do you know when something goes missing? Using a good inventory management software allows you to track every product you have and check for inconsistencies at any time.
Plan for crowds by creating a shop map
The holiday season attracts an increased number of visitors, but bigger crowds mean staff levels will be stretched, providing an opportunity for your inventory to be damaged or stolen. One way to prevent this is to plan for crowds by creating a shop map – use it to identify entrances, exits and other important spaces. Doing so will help you manage traffic flow and know where to place fixtures and fittings, as well as staff and improve your shop security.
Have a contingency plan in case of emergencies
Natural disasters such as storms and flooding can cause all sorts of problems for your business premises, from falling roof tiles to burst gutters and problems with damp. If you’re selling food and drink, power outages can result in product losses, especially from those that need to be refrigerated. If you own a bakery, butchers or cafe, then this is likely your worst nightmare. Having a contingency plan in cases of emergencies, power outages and natural disasters will help you deal with issues in a much more effective way too. A contingency plan acts as a fail-safe by minimising the impact of unforeseen events and outlines a plan for carrying out normal business workflow without any disruption.
Online Security – Tighten your cyber security for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
These big sale days have become a big part of the shopping calendar, and there are offers all over the place. But these events also come with a certain amount of risk. This holiday shopping season, cyber criminals will aim to take advantage of the fact that more consumers than ever will be shopping online due to the covid-19 pandemic. A survey conducted by Sophos revealed 44% of retail organisations in the last year were hit by ransomware. Other common retail cyber attacks include injection attacks, IP address infiltration, email address hacks and fake payments from online shopping carts. Retail app developers can also suffer.
To address these cyber risks, there are several things you can do, including investing in online security tools, such as antivirus software, security plugins and training your staff to identify potential threats, such as phishing attacks and suspicious emails, and introducing internal compliance standards and regulations that employees must follow. As well as this, taking out a Cyber Insurance policy can minimise business disruption and cover losses in the event of a cyber-attack. Keeping customer data safe – such as credit card and debit card information – is also important, as otherwise, negative customer reviews can damage your shop’s reputation. Privacy protections should always be put in place.
Safeguard your shop with a tailored insurance policy
Shop and Retailer Insurance from The Insurance Octopus is here to protect your store from the financial losses associated with inventory damage. It only takes one unexpected event to turn your shop on its head, but with a tailored insurance policy from The Insurance Octopus, you can turn things around for the better.
For more information about how The Insurance Octopus can help your business secure its premises, contact our team today.