Loss prevention in all aspects of retail, from shop floors to distribution and warehousing, is a big topic on every retailer’s mind this festive shopping season. Named the “Golden Quarter”, the period between October and December represents a time of year when UK retailers secure a significant portion of their yearly revenue.
Preventing loss is key to maintaining profits in a potentially tougher shopping period due to the cost of living driving reduced spending on non-essential items. With online shopping now making up 32% of consumer purchasing, stock availability and distribution will be key to the 2022 Golden Quarter success.
What is loss prevention?
In relation to retail, there are many ways a business can experience loss, the top reasons for retail loss are shoplifting, internal theft from employees, fraudulent returns, and accidental actions, which is why having a strategy on how to prevent stock loss in retail is crucial.
Around £190m every year is lost in the UK due to employee theft; this is especially prevalent in retail warehousing where high value items are stored and moved around for distribution and stock can change quickly due to demand from consumers.
Ensuring warehousing and distribution facilities have an effective security strategy to shrink loss prevention should be top of retailers’ lists for the 2022 golden quarter.
Here are the top 3 tips for loss prevention in retail:
1. Regular monitoring and CCTV
Having a physical presence for the monitoring of your retail premises and stock locations coupled with CCTV can further strengthen your loss prevention plan. Regular, unscheduled site walks conducted by trained security guards are an effective deterrent, key to this is partnering with a successful, knowledgeable security firm that can advise on the best approach to security for your individual business.
On-site security officers provide an around the clock physical presence, can conduct regulated bag searches, monitor (and escalate) unusual behaviour and can also operate additional checks such as body scanners to detect hidden packages on entry or exit.
On site security can bring about a host of benefits, including:
- Deterrent for criminal activity
- Trained on site personnel in case of an emergency
- Provides peace of mind for employees and visitors
CCTV security systems also offer a cost-effective way of providing round the clock monitoring of your site or business premises. Having CCTV installed on-site brings with it a host of benefits, including:
Security cameras should be your first point of call when compiling a robust security strategy and their presence will also act as an efficient deterrent for potential thieves. Ensuring CCTV is placed around “hot spots” that include higher value stock as well as in more secluded areas is a great place to start in your security strategy.
CCTV will also be invaluable in cases where theft does occur, providing you with vital evidence to submit to any required authorities, they could also help secure reductions in your insurance premiums and help you should you need to make a claim.
2. Stock control and audits
Increases in stock, a short-term increase of seasonal staff and generally busier than normal store environments all add to loss and the risk of loss over the seasonal period.
Retailers need to ensure they have regular stock control and audits to assist in quickly identifying potential breaches in security and being able to act upon these breaches efficiently. Ensuring you have a hierarchy of authorisation for approving stock counts will also help mitigate losses and hold more than one person accountable for potential issues.
Increased security for high-value stock items and assigning access to a limited number of employees should also help avoid theft and subsequent substantial losses.
Other suspicious activity to look out for when reviewing stock includes:
- Stock and sales records don’t match up
- Important documents, such as invoices, are being copied or going missing
- Stock is found near exits or loading bays when it’s not scheduled to be there
- Hearsay that staff theft is going on
3. Partner with a trusted security firm
Retail crime and profit loss cost the UK £2.2billion in 2021. Loss prevention plans are an important element of avoiding significant profit loss, assessing the level of risk at your business premises will provide a good indication of what security services you need on-site to protect both your staff and your stock.
Working with a dedicated partner that specialises in security to implement a bespoke, integrated security system will pay dividends in the long run as well as during times of peak loss periods such as Christmas and Black Friday.
For companies outsourcing their security services, partnering with a reputable and trusted third party is a must to ensure their personnel are trustworthy. As well as providing the business with peace of mind on the honesty of the security team, the presence of an external security team also ensures employees feel safe and comfortable in their working environment
Retail security services and loss prevention strategies from CDX Security Group
At CDX Security Group, we’re experienced in advising our clients on the best security strategy for keeping their staff, their customers, and their stock safe.
One of our key service areas is loss prevention, working with our clients to understand their challenges in this area and developing an integrated service that will support them. Drawing on our team’s significant experience in retail, we are able to develop a bespoke security service that will respond to any key challenges and concerns.
With more than 20 years’ experience in providing premium retail security services, we can help you develop a dedicated security strategy for your retail business this festive season.
Get in touch to find out more.