Investing in common theft-prevention tools and equipment can help keep your business assets safe
Retail theft hurts businesses all over the country. A 2021 study by the Retail Industry Leaders Association and Buy Safe America Coalition reports that up to $68.9 billion worth of products were stolen from American businesses in 2019 alone, and retail crime is responsible for $125.7 billion in lost economic activity annually.
As a result, it’s in a business’s best interests to protect itself from theft, including shoplifting, by investing in anti-theft devices. These tools come in various forms, and determining the best ones for your business depends on a variety of factors, from budget to theft exposure.
Being proactive when it comes to theft can prevent your company from becoming another failed business statistic. Here’s a look at some of the most popular loss prevention devices and how they can protect your retail business.
Many retail businesses protect their goods with an electronic article surveillance, or EAS, system. When using one of these systems, you affix special tags or labels to products in your store and install security pedestals with antennas at the exits.
When someone attempts to leave the store with merchandise containing an EAS tag, an alert will notify your security team of the issue immediately. The only drawback is that you have to carefully deactivate and remove these tags from items your customers legally purchase before they leave the store to prevent false alarms.
RFID security systems
An RFID security system is similar to an EAS system in that you attach a tag to your merchandise and receive an alert if someone tries to leave the store with the item. However, RFID is a smart security option that takes things a step further by letting your security team know the exact item the thief is trying to steal.
Each RFID tag is associated with a particular product. So when a thief attempts to leave the store without paying, security knows exactly what they have in their hands.
Depending on your store’s layout and budget, you can use security pedestals, security mats, or overhead readers with your RFID system. Overhead readers and security mats are far more discreet, so thieves might not even notice them when trying to escape with a valuable product.
Smart inventory management tools
Your inventory process can also help curb theft at your retail business. The more closely you monitor the products inside your store, the more likely you are to notice when things go missing. Smart inventory devices ensure that you know how many of each item you have in stock at all times, so you’ll quickly notice if something isn’t there.
This strategy is particularly effective in stopping internal theft because there will be checks and balances along the way. Combining smart inventory management tools with video surveillance ensures that you can see who took an item after the fact, as well.
Smart inventory management tools include mobile scanning apps that automatically perform inventory counts. All you have to do is scan the bar codes, and the system counts everything for you. Your system will also scan inventory as it arrives and leaves the store, so you’ll notice discrepancies immediately.
Display locks and tethers
Display locks and tethers do an excellent job of keeping goods safe inside a store. A display lock prevents customers from removing certain items from a shelf without staff assistance, making it far less likely that they can steal the product.
Tethers allow customers to handle the product but won’t let them walk off with it. Tethers are commonly used in electronics stores when a customer wants to try a tablet or cellphone because these items are common targets of thieves.
Video surveillance equipment
Perhaps the best way to secure a retail business is by installing video surveillance cameras. These devices do wonders for loss prevention by allowing security personnel to keep an eye on every corner of the store without being there physically. These trained surveillance agents can then respond to suspicious activity in real time.
Surveillance cameras work well in conjunction with other security measures. For instance, your security team could see a suspicious person through the surveillance system and then receive an alert that the individual has stolen something through an RFID-triggered alarm.
A video surveillance system also works well with inventory management tools because your surveillance agents can review the video feed if an item is missing, potentially identifying the culprit. Installing these cameras in high-risk locations is an excellent method of loss prevention and can even aid recovery.
Adding video analytics software to your surveillance system adds another layer of protection. This software monitors your video feed and sends an alert when suspicious activity occurs. It can also provide information on customer demographics, heatmaps of busy areas, and even facial recognition so you can identify known thieves before they have the chance to take anything.
The fact that video surveillance cameras act as a deterrent is a bonus. Potential thieves, including staff members, will see these cameras and think twice about stealing anything. You can place signs around the store letting customers know about the cameras, too, which makes them an even greater deterrent.
Developing your loss prevention solution
There are many ways to maximize your retail store security, and you’ll want to take the time to develop the ideal solution to meet your needs. Video surveillance is a must-have for most businesses, though, because of how well it allows your security officers to monitor the store.
Mobile Video Guard makes security easy for our customers by providing the surveillance camera units your business needs. And we can assist as you integrate these cameras into your security strategy. Contact Mobile Video Guard today to get a quote.