Holiday 2021 is expected to set records for retail shopping in Canada. While the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t gone away, customers are displaying increased confidence and returning to stores to do their holiday shopping in droves. Packed aisles and busy stores haven’t been an issue for retailers in almost two years, meaning gaps in security coverage are inevitable. It’s time to revisit your loss prevention strategy for the holidays.
Holiday Loss Prevention Tips
The clock is ticking on the holidays. Retailers have likely seen increased demand in the early days of December but there’s still time to put critically important plans in place. Now is the time to carry out a quick security audit and ensure you have a robust security plan in place to deter thieves. We’ve chatted with Blackbird Security’s retail loss prevention experts to gather 5 loss prevention tips for holiday shopping 2021. Let’s dive in.
Post Security at Your Door
Perhaps the most impactful loss prevention move you can make this holiday season is to deploy a uniformed security guard at the front of your store. Experience tells us criminals are easily spooked and prefer to target businesses they see as a soft touch. Placing a uniformed security guard at your front door serves a dual purpose of scaring off criminals, while reassuring shoppers your store is safe. In an era of public health measures, front door security can also be used to ensure compliance with provincial face mask mandates.
Empower Your Staff to Play a Role
Good management involves hiring the right people and empowering them to fulfill their potential. When you include your team members in your security plans, you’re increasing their skillset and their importance to the business. Hold a meeting where you explain staff’s role in your security plan. Instruct them on suspicious behaviours to watch out for, and what to do in the event they spot a crime in progress. Above all else, ensure your staff know to never place themselves in a potentially dangerous situation.
Protect Your Assets from Internal Theft
Most retailers hire seasonal employees for the holidays. Often, these workers need to be hired quickly and there just isn’t enough time to vet them thoroughly. With this sudden surge of staff comes a higher risk of shrinkage and internal theft. Consider increasing checks around your cash registers and conducting random baggage checks when staff are leaving for the day. Simultaneously, refine your training manuals so temporary staff get up to speed as soon as possible.
Monitor Fitting Rooms
Fitting rooms remain a glaring weakness for clothing retailers. It’s not just theft you need to be mindful of either. Thieves will often bring two items in and switch the price tags on them, purchasing the higher priced piece of clothing at a heavily discounted rate. Consider assigning a member of your internal team to cover fitting rooms. They should examine each piece of merchandise before it goes in, auditing the tags once more when the customer emerges.
Be Smart About Merchandise Placement
Even the best laid security plans are vulnerable to quick criminal strikes. The holidays are peak season for ‘grab-and-run’ thefts, in which a thief will grab a piece of merchandise from near the front door and make a quick exit. Move any expensive or desirable stock away from your front door as a starting point. Consider keeping as much of this merchandise as possible secured by electronic tags, or behind the point of sale. Making quick changes to your stock placement will make a massive impact on your loss prevention efforts.
Let Blackbird Security Help
This holiday season, work with the loss prevention experts at Blackbird Security to increase your retail security options. Contact us and Canada’s number one security company will be happy to help.