For retailers, the winter season is traditionally one of their strongest sales periods of the year, but it is also ‘thieving season’. Retailers need to prepare for crimes of opportunity such as smash-and-grab crimes, according to the nonprofit International Window Film Association (IWFA), which is recommending the installation of security window films to help deter thieves.
“It is important for retailers to be prepared with added security ahead of the winter season, especially around the holidays, since a study completed several years ago states that 46 percent of retail theft occurred in the winter time, or about twice the level of other times of the year,” said Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA. “Security window films offer an unseen layer of security that may help prevent these crimes of opportunity.”
Nearly 67 percent of leading retailers surveyed report a moderate to considerable increase in organized retail crime, and 80 percent believe it will only get worse in the future. Academic research has suggested that most retail theft represents crimes of opportunity.
Security window films can be the thickness of two drivers licenses stacked together, or much thinner. In addition to the strong adhesive used to secure the film to glass, a wet glaze system designed to adhere the film’s edges to the window frame itself or to a display case may also be added for more strength and security.
“Unprotected glass can be broken by a thief in a few seconds, but with security window film it may take several minutes or more even after multiple impacts,” said Smith. “This time delay may frustrate a would-be thief and encourage them to move on, and it may also buy a retailer time so other actions may be taken or the police may arrive in response to some alarm.”