Retailer Security: Create a Safety Plan For Your Small Business or Retail Store

By April 7, 2020Blog

One of the biggest concerns for retailers of all sizes is security. No matter what types of products a retail store sells, it’s vital to have a physical business security plan to prevent theft and keep employees safe. 

In 2018, retail stores made a record profit of $6 trillion.

By 2023, due to increased growth, this sector is projected to hit $30 trillion. 

Given the importance that retail stores represent for the country’s economy, it only stands to reason that the assets of each one should be well protected. 

Check out these stats from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics:

 

  • There are around 6.5 million burglaries per year, with 34% of them happening in businesses. That is 2.21 million break-ins!
  • The amount of these burglaries resolved by the police?: Only 13%.
  • Burglary rates are higher in the summer. 
  • The most common tools used by intruders are pliers, screwdrivers, pry bars, and little hammers. 
  • Most of these break-ins are done by amateurs who, out of desperation, will bring about as much destruction as possible. This is actually dangerous.

When a retail store becomes the target of a crime, whether it be shoplifting, armed robbery, or a violent attack, the physical security measures the store has in place make all the difference in how the scenario plays out. 

A burglar will avoid a place that is difficult to break in or too risky. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best ways you can put a robust security plan for your business to protect your merchandise and employees.

1. Conduct a Threat Assessment

To effectively create a physical security plan for your small business, you have to consider the material risks your business faces. 

For example: 

Are you most worried about shoplifting?

Burglary? 

Armed robbery?

 

After you’ve decided what your main security concerns are, look at all the areas of your store and any security measures you already have in place to determine how vulnerable your store is to these threats.  

2. Have a Working Security System For Your Business

All retail stores should have the security system basics, including surveillance cameras and an alarm system, up and running at all times. 

Make sure that cameras are visible to discourage shoplifting and burglary and place decals in shop windows to advertise the fact that the premises are video-monitored and have an active alarm system. 

Remember to always set the alarm system when the store is closed so that if someone does try to break in after hours the authorities will be notified.

3. Hire Security Guards to Prevent Retailer Security Breach

If you deal in expensive merchandise or handle large amounts of cash in-store, there should be at least one dedicated security staff member in your business security plan. 

Security guards are specifically trained on how to patrol retail stores, monitor customers for suspicious behavior, and react in the event of a retailer security breach. 

If you run an ample retail space, it makes sense to employ multiple security personnel to monitor different areas of the store, such as every exit, as well as have a guard monitoring the surveillance footage.

4. Enact Loss Prevention Security Measures

Retail loss prevention refers to a variety of strategies and tactics designed to combat shoplifting. One such measure is to tag items with sensors that go off whenever someone tries to leave the store with an item before paying and getting the sensor tag removed by a cashier. 

Another loss prevention tactic is to place the most high-end, expensive items near the cash register or in plain sight of employees.

5. Install Riot Glass Laminated Security Glass

business security plan

One of the absolute best ways to increase retailer security is to upgrade existing window and door glass with laminated security glass. 

Riot Glass is a type of laminated glass that is 5x stronger and 100x stiffer than standard security glass. 

Unlike shatter-resistant (but breakable) tempered safety glass, which is commonly used in retail stores, Riot Glass is specifically designed to withstand deliberate forced entry attempts and even ballistic impacts.

Riot Glass can be retrofitted onto almost any existing window, glass storefront, or door glass to fortify the glass against burglary, armed robbery, and active shooter scenarios. 

Depending on the perceived threats to your retail business, you can choose security glass with different grades of resistance to mitigate your security concerns. 

From containment-grade panels that will withstand repeated impacts from burglary tools like hammers and crowbars, to ballistic-grade shields that can resist bullets from high-caliber handguns, there’s a Riot Glass product for every retail security need.

6. Train Employees on Security Procedures

Employees are the ones on the floor responsible for retailer security, so it’s important to ensure that all of your staff members are trained on how to react in different retailer security breach scenarios. 

For example, create a plan for how employees should react if they catch someone shoplifting, if there is an armed robbery, or if an active shooter scenario is underway. Make sure that everyone knows important information like how to lock down or evacuate the building in an emergency properly.

7. Identify Sensitive Areas in Your Security Plan and Control Access To These Areas

Make a checklist of what those sensitive areas are:

File rooms

Usually, someone trying to break in to your business will not go for the files. However, the intruder does not know that and will still try to break in. This can cause damage to the critical documents in the file rooms. 

Supply Cabinets

Depending on the types of goods you sell, burglars are very likely to target supply cabinets. 

Tool Storage

The instruments that you need to complete the work at your business may also be a target of robbers. 

Server Rooms

If your business has a server room, you know how critical it is to keep that sensitive area away from potential intruders. 

The following are some simple steps you can take to protect these areas better:

  • Lock doors to sensitive back-of-building areas like offices and storerooms and control access to them with pass cards, pin codes, or keys. 
  • Give access only to the employees that need to be in these areas. 
  • These areas can also be used as hiding places for employees if there is a violent individual on the loose in the store, so they can lock themselves in and wait for help if they are unable to get out of the store.

8. Upgrade Window Locks

Though your windows probably already have some type of window locks, their security can be greatly enhanced by installing new aftermarket locks. For example, pin locks, keyed locks, hinged wedge locks, and sash locks can all make your windows more secure against forced entry. 

When used in tandem with security glass, aftermarket window locks will decrease the vulnerability of your windows and deter burglars or other intruders.

9. Light Things Up

In your business security plan, budget for using indoor lights to illuminate hard-to-see areas of your store and leaving some lights on inside at night. 

Also, light up the outside of your store and parking areas or garages with light fixtures that turn on at night or install motion-sensing lights. Well-illuminated premises will discourage criminals and make it easier to spot suspicious activity.

Conclusion

Retail businesses have to confront a variety of security threats on a daily basis and are especially popular targets for theft. This is why it’s so essential to improve retailer security by implementing a comprehensive physical security plan for your small or large business. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to physical retail security, but when you employ some of the methods listed above, you can feel more confident about the safety of your merchandise and employees. 

Contact us today to find out more about how you can improve the physical security of your retail business with Riot Glass.