Retailers today are conducting more novel promotional events to lure customers away from their devices and into stores to shop. Making sure those special events go smoothly is a complicated matter, however. For example, the nation’s worst mass shooting, which left 58 dead at the Route 91 Harvest music festival Read More
Retail security is a term with two very different and distinct meanings in the retail environment. In one aspect, retail security is an outdated and understated term for a critical sales support function. In the early years of the profession, most companies called this aspect of the workforce the “Security” or “Protection” department. Security teams served as a real and visible force to combat losses in the stores. Uniformed guards would stand at the doors or walk the selling floors. Undercover security agents were eventually brought on to catch shoplifters. Security managers coordinated these efforts, and also handled internal theft issues. Programs typically assumed a reactive and one-dimensional approach; responding to issues as they occurred and working to keep the stores safe and secure. Unfortunately, while this reactionary approach was often expected and requested by retail leadership, it was not conducive to true retail success.
Over the years, responsibilities continued to increase, and these departments were looked at in a different way. It became increasingly apparent that in order to benefit the overall organization the industry would have to evolve, embracing the concepts of retail shrink reduction and incorporating concepts critical to the retail culture.
The term loss prevention was cultivated from the philosophical and cultural changes to this approach. It was a means to reflect our evolving strategies to prevent all types of losses while enhancing the retail business plan. The significance was to move beyond the strategic changes; voicing the message that the industry was moving forward and embracing a place as part of the successful business model. Some programs chose to call their programs “Asset Protection” or “Profit Protection,” further emphasizing that their purpose was to protect the entire multitude of assets associated with running the business—and not just responding to retail theft.
Today, retail security more appropriately identifies a form of protection that creates a separation or dissuades vulnerability between retail assets and potential threats to those assets. These separations are generally the various tools, controls, and approaches used to protect vulnerable and valuable retail assets—whether our merchandise, customers, employees, facilities or other assets—by deterring harmful or malicious behavior and/or increasing customer and employee safety.
There are many different types of precautions that retail organizations will take to guard against crimes, losses, and other threats to the business. For example, this might include physical tools such as locks, EAS tags, fire exits, or security caches. It might involve technology such as CCTV video surveillance and various retail alarm systems. It may also include a particular strategy or approach such as the hardening of our facilities, executive protection plans, information protection, or certain aspects of a crisis management strategy.
In addition to the various internal measures implemented to safeguard these resources, retailers will often partner with subject matter experts and solution providers from sources outside of the company that provide these tools or specialize in a particular area of expertise to enhance these security efforts and maintain service and protection. These partners may include public services, but most often involve vendor partners that are contracted to serve the needs of the retail organization.
Effective management of the tools, practices, partnerships, and protection strategies should be integrated into a successful loss prevention plan. A balanced and proactive approach to retail security efforts typically provides the best and most efficient results.
Cashing In on Security
Finding new solutions to an old problem.
By Garett Seivold
It is possible for cash to be an afterthought. Shoppers are using it less, and it doesn’t command attention like new mobile payment methods do. It’s not disappearing, but it’s not changing either. It’s stable and consistent, but maybe Read More
Risk amplification is but one part of the jigsaw puzzle that must be put together to control losses in retail stores. Making would-be offenders feel that there is an elevated risk of being caught is an important piece of the jigsaw, and a 2016 report from the ECR Community’s Shrinkage Read More
There have been news stories and lawsuits recently focusing attention on long-simmering complaints about the treatment of minorities by large retailers (see: Giant Tiger; Ferragamo). What can organizations do to avoid claims of racial profiling in retail stores?
To start, retailers should have clearly defined and articulated policies against racial profiling Read More
Nine seconds after three armed men entered a convenience store in Rochester, NY, one of them shot security guard Brian Brown in the face. “Thirty-six pellets went into my eye, the rest went into my head,” he told local WHAM 13 News. “They’re still in there.”
Naturally, a lawsuit against the Read More
Consider this: restaurant security programs require monetary output for potential safety measures, such as buying and installing CCTV cameras or implementing access systems. Such programs also demand an investment of time and effort on the part of the entire organization for activities, such as training security guards or involving multiple Read More
The 21st century posed a major conundrum for the retailers: how to fight online competition and improve brick-and-mortar store performance, and how to increase retail foot traffic without compromising store security and safety measures.
However, increasing the number of customers results in a heavier workload for loss prevention teams, which makes Read More
If given the choice, a criminal would prefer to work behind closed doors or covered/cluttered windows. The Clear Zone program was developed to discourage robberies by placing the robber on stage. The program was created because convenience stores and gas stations have one of the highest rates of robbery incidents. Read More
Security surveillance footage provides value in many ways, including theft prevention, suspect identification, and as key evidence in defending against personal injury lawsuits. It’s time for retail loss prevention professionals to familiarize themselves with video surveillance laws and uses.
Case in point: A Philadelphia County Court judge last summer cut a Read More
All workplace security behaviors have either a positive or negative outcome. Positive security behaviors help safeguard assets; negative behaviors put them at risk.
Loss prevention policies are the starting point for encouraging positive security behavior. And security practices—such as monitoring, training, and enforcement—drives employees’ capacity and motivation to adhere to a Read More