The Importance Of Having Retail Security During The Holidays
By Clifford Strong, CEO of JC Protection LLC | February 1, 2021
Retail theft potentially causes substantial losses through customer and employee dishonesty. This is particularly true during the holidays. A primary means of reducing losses and offering added safety to customers and employees is by hiring reputable security personnel.
Retail Theft Issues
Retail theft costs retailers billions of dollars annually. Shoplifting, price tag switching and employee theft all constitute retail theft. Retailers likely feel pressure due to the need to recoup losses, which affects revenue as well as the potential need to increase prices.
Some retailers potentially feel they cannot afford to hire a security firm. However, losses due to the various forms of retail theft likely far exceed costs related to hiring a qualified security firm.
Shoplifting In The United States
Consumer spending increases around holidays throughout the year, with the National Retail Federation indicating that winter holiday spending reached over $626 billion in 2015. Another area that sees a dramatic increase around the holidays is retail shoplifting. Time contributor Katie Reilly explains that in 2016, the greatest loss to retailers was the result of shoplifting.
Cashiers and store clerks busy when legitimate customers often fail to see shoplifters. Shoplifting also occurs by intentional distraction. This occurs when one individual distracts store personnel, while other individuals commit an act of shoplifting.
Retail managers and owners potentially assume they have the ability to determine when a customer engages in shoplifting. However, unless you as a manager or retail shop owner have specific training and qualifications that retail security firm personnel undergo, you likely miss many shoplifting incidents. Additionally, if you stop an individual who ditched merchandise or if you falsely accuse an individual, you potentially face substantial damages when the person files a lawsuit against you or your company. Hiring a qualified security firm helps protect you from shoplifters.
Retail Theft Committed By Employees
Retailers likely assume that when an employee passes a pre-employment background check, that employee is an honest, trustworthy individual. Retail theft does occur by employees even after the employee passes the background screening. Some individuals go from one job to another stealing merchandise or money. Under ringing or failing to ring merchandise is another form of employee theft, often missed by unsuspecting retailers.
Retailers should not underestimate the cost of employee theft. Fortune contributor Anne Fisher points to a study demonstrating that while dishonest employees account for 28 percent of global retail shrink, the United States leads the world in retail losses attributed to employees. Employee theft in the U.S. accounts for 43 percent of annual retail theft.
Documentation supporting the fact that employee theft accounts for such a huge amount of retail shrinkage demonstrates the need for retailers to invest in hiring a highly qualified security firm, particularly during the holidays. Employees likely assume that managers and retail owners busy with customers will not notice an employees’ quick theft. Some employees stage merchandise, just as customers do, which consists of placing merchandise in a location outside its normal place, with intent to steal later or to allow an outside individual to steal it.
Importance Of Hiring Qualified Security Personnel
Hiring a qualified security firm or qualified loss prevention personnel adds increased security to your retail business, whether you have a large retail business with multiple locations or a smaller retail shop. The presence of qualified security personnel serves as a deterrence to shoplifters and dishonest employees. Security firm personnel have the expertise to detect and prevent shoplifting, along with professional knowledge to make stops, meaning to detain shoplifters and recover merchandise.
The holidays also bring out thieves who steal from customers or employees in parking lots or other areas of retail stores. Customers and employees likely feel safer at retail stores that have security firms present to help protect them.
Protect customers and employees by hiring a retail security firm with qualifications to protect your assets. Ensure customer and employee safety when you hire a qualified security firm, particularly throughout holiday seasons.