We’ve just surpassed the insanity that is Black Friday. So first of all, congrats, that’s no small feat. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge for most retail and service based businesses, but of course next up is the holiday season. By this point, it’s already in full force and you’ve probably already considered your holiday strategy. There’s so much to think about throughout the busyness of the holidays - marketing, promotions, inventory, shipping, everything has to be in top shape. But one thing that many businesses don’t often consider over the holidays is their security.
Theft poses a definite problem in Vancouver, as it does in almost any retail setting. It happens every day, but businesses can often feel its impact the most during the holidays. Likewise, there are additional considerations to be made for the hospitality industry, as the season is packed full of parties, gatherings and social events. The sales go up, but that doesn’t mean that the number of instances of theft or damage should too. Here are our top tips to help your business make it through the holidays securely and with minimal loss:
If you’re able to, consider filling up your staff schedule a little more throughout the holidays, or even hiring some additional seasonal staff. Having additional staff members on hand can deter theft from occurring, as it means there is an extra individual present at all times. For the hospitality industry, this also means keeping an eye on safety issues such as alcohol consumption, as driving under the influence is definitely something to be cautious of this time of year. Additional staff members can also manage inventory and keep a close eye on weak points within the business that may be more prone to theft or damage.
Managing inventory can be tricky for retail over the holidays, as most businesses have more stock on hand than usual. It’s important to be mindful of where things are located within your store. Items that are either easier to steal or of higher value should be kept within a clear line of sight so that staff can stay mindful of these. If you have security on site, let security guards know of any important or high-value items so that they can keep a close watch. This is also a great time to consider your general loss prevention measures. In addition to staff and security, consider things such as cameras, mirrors, alarm systems or locked shelving units.
Having security personnel on site is a quick and surefire way to deter instances of theft or damage, and to manage busy or crowded situations. Staff are often so busy with their own jobs that it can be tricky to also manage the growing holiday crowds. A security officer can manage long lines, keep crowds calm and organized, keep an eye on safety and alcohol consumption at events or parties, and their presence can also drastically reduce instances of theft. If you have a trained security guard on site they will be ready and prepared to handle any situation that might arise, so that you and your staff don’t have to. Managing crowds and lines is important as large groups can become unruly and can also become easy targets for theft and pickpocketing. Make sure you have a crowd management strategy in place!
This is a great time of year to review your security plans and procedures, and even put a holiday-specific procedure in place. Reviewing your security systems and plans will ensure that all procedures are up to code and in place, all of your technology is up to date and there are no weak points to reconsider. This will also provide your staff with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with safety protocols.
There’s a lot to consider over the holiday season! It can seem overwhelming, but the first step is just that, considering your plan. Considering these safety measures and keeping security in mind is already a great first step and will keep you cautious and aware throughout the season. Whether you’re planning a holiday event or managing an entire store, don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any assistance auditing your current security plan or creating and implementing a new security plan that will protect your business during the holiday rush.