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Christmas security tips for retailers

For many retailers, Christmas is the most important time of the year.

It is a period of great potential for increased sales and higher profits, but also a time of heightened risk.

During the Christmas season, businesses in the retail industry need to be alert to the increased danger of everything from petty shoplifting to more serious crime.

If security will be one of your company's key concerns over the coming weeks, here are some things you can do to keep your staff, your customers and your business as safe as possible.

Review your existing security measures

Complacency is something every organisation needs to be wary of when it comes to security, particularly those facing heightened risks at Christmas.

One of the most effective ways of ensuring your security measures are up to standard is by conducting regular audits, which should be scheduled at least once a year.

Your audit should examine many aspects of your security arrangements, from the effectiveness of your CCTV to the reliability of alarm systems. This will ensure that your business is well protected against any potential threats, providing peace of mind for managers and staff.

Consider manned security

There are few more effective deterrents to criminals than having a professional security presence within your store.

Having security guards on patrol could be the difference between thieves targeting your business and deciding that they don't want to take the risk and moving on to other, more vulnerable sites.

Manned security can also be reassuring for staff, who are more likely to feel comfortable and ready to focus on work if they don't have to worry about looking out for suspicious activity.

If you don't think you need full-time security protection, consider the option of employing guards for peak periods, such as weekends leading up to Christmas.

Keep customers and staff informed

It can prove beneficial to ensure that everyone in your stores - customers and staff - is aware of the need to be cautious at this time of year.

One of the simplest measures is having clear signs and warnings around the store reminding people to look after their bags, wallets, purses and valuables. Opportunist thieves could target shoppers who are too distracted by browsing to keep an eye on their belongings.

It's also advisable to hold some training sessions or meetings with your workforce to ensure that all employees recognise the importance of security at this time of year.

Be vigilant to theft by staff

Unfortunately, it's not just shoplifters and pickpockets retailers need to be aware of at Christmas time - unscrupulous and dishonest employees can also pose a risk.

With so much activity going on and such a large amount of merchandise moving through many stores during this period, some staff might think they can get away with theft on a small scale.

There are also more serious schemes retailers should be wary of, such as workers colluding with criminals at the point of sale or in changing rooms.

The vast majority of employees are perfectly honest and pose no security risks, but it only takes one exception to create a big problem.

If your business will be taking on temporary staff for Christmas, make sure all the proper criminal record checks, employment history and references are in place to keep your business and the rest of your workforce safe.

 

Posted by Andrew Miller

Image courtesy of Thinkstock

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