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Boosting Physical Security for Holiday Shopping

Retail executives often look forward to the holidays for the entire year, as the jingle of the cash register opening and closing is like music to their ears. Unfortunately, the time of year that is supposed to bring the most joy also invites woe, as it’s when criminals make their presence known.

By developing a plan ahead of time, decision-makers may prevent theft and keep their sensitive assets safe, according to a report by Security Small Business. Training is an important part of risk management, as employees that are unprepared for the increased traffic may not  monitor alarms or surveillance cameras effectively. If current staff levels may not be enough, executives should consider hiring temporary workers.

Despite all the training in the world, however, retailers without a little technological help will likely fall victim to theft. For this reason, companies need to consider implementing advanced physical security systems, the news source said.

Physical security tips
In many cases, physical security measures are overlooked during the holidays because decision-makers are so busy focusing on other tasks. However, it is critical that executives address any physical security vulnerabilities before the holiday season, Security Small Business said.

Retailers should be sure to install surveillance cameras with real-time monitoring, as well as an access control system that can prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing restricted areas or entering the store after hours. Retail managers should have these solutions included in their general security plan, as preparation is crucial to eliminating threats, Security Small Business said.

Physical security solutions are no joke; they really work. This was highlighted in a study by University of Florida, which revealed the use of surveillance cameras and other tools reduced theft as a percentage of revenue by 1.41 percent – the equivalent of roughly $2.6 billion in savings.

“The decrease in retail theft can be a direct result of the widespread investment in technologies and integrated solutions by retailers,” security expert Michael Creedon said. “Clearly security solutions are proving to be a solid investment and have saved retailers billions of dollars in losses every year. There are a number of technologies and services available today that can help retailers continue to prevent theft, decrease shrinkage and track merchandise effectively.”

In addition to video surveillance cameras, retailers should consider using access control systems to prevent internal theft and product tracking and monitoring tools to ensure nothing is stolen out of sight.

What else should go into a security plan?
In addition to implementing advanced physical security tools, employees and managers alike should know how to respond in the event of an emergency, Security Small Business noted. This should include helping customers out of the store if necessary, as well as collaborating with local law enforcement agencies that are responding to an alarm.

While a highly detailed plan may seem complex for a small business, having one in place is vitally important, especially during the holidays.

As the physical security landscape continues to evolve, decision-makers will find it increasingly easy to implement and manage advanced and integrated security systems. Surveillance, access control and general alarms are constantly maturing and providing even small businesses with sophisticated tools to guard against both internal and external theft.

While the holidays are generally a time to reap the benefits of increased sales, it should also be a time for decision-makers to sit down and plan how they will prevent and, if necessary, react to emergency situations. Failing to plan ahead will only make the holidays a more vulnerable time for retailers.

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