What’s happening at your stores? Are you wasting money on expensive security measures that don’t really work? We challenged a group of retail clients to develop a list of the most practical, high return on investment security initiatives. They came up with 18!
1) Security cameras – The best systems are those that are tied to the registers. Worth the money you invest! You get to see the video of each transaction and can easily spot check or go to a certain time on the tape. The retailers that installed these were amazed when they checked the video against what was rung.
2) Fake cameras – If you can’t afford the real thing, fake it. Retailers reported it’s the perception of being watched that deters crime.
3) Clean lot during peak times – Drive offs are the worst during busy times, not slow times. Therefore, have employees at the pumps, doing cleaning and maintenance during the busiest times! This is exactly opposite of how most cleaning cycles are managed, but if you are having problems with drive-offs, this is your most effective countermeasure.
4) Background check every employee
5) Drug test every employee.
6) Friends not allowed – There was active debate on this issue, but the retailers agreed that it’s better not to encourage applications from friends of existing co-workers to prevent opportunities for theft collusion. (If you are dead sure you have honest staff, though, it’s likely their friends are honest too.)
7) Respect every employee – Treat every employee with respect and dignity and you increase the odds they will treat your store with that same respect.
8) Train managers – This includes supervisory training (to foster respect) and security training.
9) Lights everywhere – Most stores are well lit inside and at the pump, but there may be dark spots around the building. Invest in extra lights that cover your entire lot. This extra lighting has great ROI because it also increases sales as it encourages women nighttime shoppers.
10) Scan in and out – Scanning eliminates the lion’s share of internal theft opportunities.
11) Build police department relationships – Go beyond free coffee. Some retailers offer mini-offices for police in their stores while others provide full meals to uniformed police.
12) Vendor theft prevention – Most retailers sited the Jack Henry video series as their best anti-vendor-theft training.
13) Each cashier have own drawer. No shared drawers.
14) Audit all cash counts.
15) Courier transport for cash deposits – There are cost-effective bonded courier alternatives to pricier armored car services.
16) Inventory services – With full scanning, outside services are cheap.
17) Increase safe drop frequency – This is simple and inexpensive.
18) Decrease inventory levels – This was an interesting insight. Retailers found when they decreased numbers of SKUs, shrink went down and sales went up!
If you fully execute these 18 suggestions, you will have terrific store security.