Tackling Retail Security Challenges in 2020

Tackling Retail Security Challenges in 2020


Shoplifting costs Canadian retailers up to $5 billion a year. Combined with employee theft, vendor fraud, and cybercrime, it’s easy to see how retail security threats can eat into a retailer’s bottom line. Yet, without a secure environment, it’s almost impossible for a business to grow and thrive. While there is no silver bullet to the problem, there are various measures you can take to limit these losses.

Below, we will look at some steps that you should take to secure your establishment.


Understand the Changing Threat Landscape

The threat landscape evolves every year. Although shrinkage and burglary is still a threat, a new challenge has emerged this year — looting. Thanks to the protests that have been occurring across North America and beyond, opportunist looters and vandals are taking advantage of the unrest to ransack businesses. The Retail Council of Canada recently advised its members to take precautions to protect themselves from destructive mobs.

To avoid being a victim of looters, ramp up your establishment’s security by working with a professional locksmith Toronto expert to install high-security locks that are pick proof and drill-proof. Maximize security cameras and smart alarms and ensure they’re positioned correctly, in working condition, and turned on at all times. Cameras can dissuade looters and help you collect valuable evidence. Stronger doors, windows, and bars also better resist forcible entry attempts.


Audit Your Electronic Article Surveillance System

Shoplifters always seem to find a way to defeat the security systems in place. They shield, jam, or detach radio frequency tags to ensure the Electronic Article Surveillance(EAS) doesn’t detect the stolen item. Beat such techniques by regularly monitoring and testing your EAS to ensure it’s working effectively. If you find discrepancies, fix the problem immediately.

Commission an audit on the current EAS, assess whether the products on the shelves come with tags inserted, decide which products to protect, and keep records on the number of cases detected by the system. To ensure your staff doesn’t ignore alarms, train them on how to respond when an alarm goes off. Responding to every activation will also give you valuable insight into how the EAS works.

Tackling Retail Security Challenges in 2020

Use Customer Service to Prevent Shoplifting

Don’t just rely on technology to minimize retail shrinkage. Demonstrating excellent customer service not only increases customer satisfaction, but it also boosts the retail security. Nothing turns away shoplifters faster than attentive and courteous employees. Acknowledging each person through friendly eye contact or greetings when they enter your establishment means a thief is less likely to perpetrate a crime when they know you have noticed them.

Show your employees how to engage with your customers more and train them to identify suspicious behaviour. If an employee identifies anyone acting suspiciously, they should approach the individual and offer to help them. When a potential shoplifter is aware that someone is watching them, they’ll abandon the mission. Don’t forget to educate your employees on what the local laws say about confronting a suspect.


Keep Your Employees Happy

On average, an employee in Canada will steal around $2,500 in cash or goods from their employer before they’re detected. Eliminate employee theft by creating a positive working environment. A happy workplace encourages ethical behaviour and honesty. If an employee feels underpaid, overworked, or wronged, they are more likely to steal from you.

Apart from creating and enforcing a robust theft-prevention policy, make sure to foster a positive working environment by promoting communication, encouraging employee brainstorming sessions, facilitating work-life balance, and recognizing and rewarding employees.


Embrace a More Integrated Approach

Even the best technology alone can’t defeat the ever-changing security challenges. To protect your business from shoplifters, burglars, looters, and other types of criminals, stay updated on the latest challenges facing the retail industry and adopt a multi-pronged loss prevention approach. An integrated approach enhances security in your retail business.

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