November has arrived, meaning the beginning of the annual Holiday sales rush. Businesses across Canada are using this time to prepare their operations, marketing and staffing for their busiest time of year. In the haste to get ready, retail security is often something that can go neglected, causing damaging losses and theft at a time when margins are already thin.
In the weeks ahead, stores are likely to be busier than at any point in almost two years. Eager shoppers are ready to get back to stores and grab some Black Friday bargains. It’s an exciting and profitable time for business owners, but it also brings an increased threat. Don’t let your business fall prey to crime.
In today’s blog, we’re talking Black Friday retail security, and how you can make small, easily actionable changes that can make all the difference.
It Begins with Crowd Control
Black Friday brings with it throngs of shoppers looking to score deals. During the pandemic, we’ve all gotten used to capacity limits and lineups. Use this already existing experience and tolerance to keep the number of shoppers within your space down to a manageable level. Criminals thrive among crowds. It gives them cover to carry out their crimes. Keep a strict capacity limit and you’ll remove the conditions they love so much.
Assign Security to the Line
Lineups are only sustainable if they’re being monitored. Don’t allow things to deteriorate into a free-for-all outside your store. If customers want to line up before you open, ensure their behaviour is monitored and they aren’t providing a nuisance for other stores and the public. Consider physical distancing with your lineup planning. The pandemic hasn’t gone away, and cold and flu season has also arrived.
Hire Security Help
Staffing levels at many Canadian retailers are far below their optimum level. Instead of placing additional security burdens on overworked team members, make an investment in the kind of retail security services offered by Blackbird Security. Our Loss Prevention and Retail Security teams undergo Canada’s most comprehensive security training program, and they’ve been deployed in customer-facing positions throughout the pandemic. Trust them to act as your eyes and ears during the Holiday rush.
Plan How to Merchandise Your Store
Traditionally, retailers will place high ticket items in easily accessible places to boost sales. At times such as Black Friday, it’s recommended to flip the script. Keep these items in hard-to-reach places where criminals can’t quickly pick them up and walk them out of the store. If your store stocks items like electronics or media, consider using dummy boxes on the shop floor and keeping real items locked up.
Keep an Eye out for Stockpiling
Shoplifters are resourceful individuals. Even if you keep high value stock in difficult places, they can get around this by picking it up and moving it to other areas of the store. If your team notices a pattern of stock in areas it doesn’t belong, it’s worth keeping a close eye on. Shoplifters have been known to stockpile items for future theft in easy to access areas. Whether you choose to place the stock back, or monitor it, acting on stockpiling will ensure you don’t suffer a damaging loss.
Here to Help
During the busy Holiday sales period, Blackbird Security is standing by to assist with your security needs. Whether you need advice on creating a security plan, or are interested in working with us to keep your business safe, contact us and we will be happy to help.