The holiday season is officially here and with that comes the flood of shoppers who are crossing off items on their shopping lists.
While this peak shopping period is an obvious bonus for retailers, it also means packed aisles, long lineups, busy staff, and the perfect cover for theft.
To ensure an enjoyable and festive time for all your holiday shoppers, here are a few tips that can help create a safer shopping experience.
#1 Station security at the door
One of the most impactful loss prevention moves that you can make this holiday season is to deploy a uniformed security guard at the front of your store.
Criminals are easily spooked and prefer to target businesses that they see as easy opportunities. Placing a uniformed security guard at the front of your store can help to scare off potential criminals, while reassuring shoppers your store is safe.
Professional security guards are also trained to provide a customer-focused approach, so as a bonus when they are stationed at the door they can act as holiday greeters.
#2 Assign more staff to cover fitting rooms
Fitting rooms are a weak point for many retailers, so it’s important to prioritize extra support in those spaces. Consider assigning more staff than usual to fitting rooms, especially during the peak shopping periods of the holiday season.
Staff members can count and examine each piece of merchandise before it goes into the room, and again when it’s returned, to ensure all the tags are intact and all items are accounted for. The added staff also grants your team the time to help any guests who need it and ensure a seamless customer experience.
#3 Secure your store's high-value merchandise
The holidays are a prime time 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. To prevent this, move any high-value merchandise to the back of the store, or the stockroom.
This also allows the opportunity for staff to engage with customers who are seeking higher ticket items and help guide them through the sales process.
#4 Identify weak points and windows of opportunity
Criminals typically look for windows of opportunity to engage in theft, vandalism and other criminal activity. This can include things like staff shift changes, breaks, or busy shopping hours when staff are often too preoccupied to keep an eye on every shopper. To get ahead of this, make sure you know the weak points in your business and hire more staff to support you during these times.
These may also be times of day when the quality of customer service dips, so by hiring additional staff you can ensure that there is always someone available to help customers.
#5 Offer help to suspicious shoppers
If you suspect someone is engaging in theft, you want to approach the situation gently. After all, you don’t want to accuse an innocent shopper or act too quickly with no evidence.
Instruct your team to approach the individual in question and ask them if they need help finding anything. Let them know that they’ll be close by if needed and then walk away to monitor from a distance.
If the person is a regular customer, they’ll feel reassured. If they’re engaging in theft they’ll likely be scared off and will leave the store.
#6 Hire Blackbird Security
Uniformed Security Guards are the core of our security services at Blackbird. These dependable and flexible security guards are equally at home in retail, the public sector or industrial settings.
We understand their role in providing a visible deterrent to crime, that’s why our uniformed security guards are expertly trained to respond to threats and protect your property with the highest standards of professionalism.