The Importance of Retail Security: Safeguarding Your Assets and Customers

Security guards are a common sight in retail environments. They act as a visual deterrent to criminals in order to prevent stock loss. They also take the pressure off shop staff having to confront individuals who are acting suspiciously in the store.

While some shops will try to get by without these essential members of staff, there are numerous benefits to hiring security staff for your store. In this guide, we’ll explore the role of retail security guards, what they do and why they are essential for retail store owners.

What is a Retail Security Guard?

A retail security guard is a specially trained security professional who helps to prevent thefts and disturbances in shops. They are commonly used in high-end stores where the value of the products is very high. They are also present in malls and shopping centres to help protect multiple shops at once and to monitor for antisocial behaviour.

What Does a Retail Security Guard Do?

The role of the retail security guard is entirely dependent on the environment they are working in. Some will guard the door to check bags when the tagging system is activated. Some will patrol the shop to provide a visual deterrent to thieves. Some will be stationed in a CCTV office monitoring a large store or shopping centre. And finally, some will be patrolling an entire shopping centre to help bring peace of mind to customers and to deter thieves.

They are typically tasked with identifying weaknesses in a shop’s security measures and acting to close these gaps. They are required to observe customers and their behaviour to look for signs that individuals might be there for reasons other than to shop.

Not only do they help to prevent thefts, they are also essential for the protection of customers in the event of an emergency. If there is a fire alarm or evacuation drill, security guards will be there to guide customers to safety.

They are also helpful for customer service. While they might not be expected to know about the layout of items in a store, if they are covering an entire department store or shopping mall, they will be able to direct customers to specific areas such as the bathrooms or food court.

Retail Security

Why Are Retail Security Guards Essential?

Having a retail security guard on site to help protect your store can deliver significant savings throughout an entire year. Criminal gangs are becoming much more sophisticated and stealing items en masse. It’s no longer about stopping an individual from slipping a single item into their bag without paying. Criminals are now confidently walking into shops and clearing out whole shelves. And they are also stealing to order, typically targeting high value items that are easy to sell onward.

If you want to stop stock loss and protect your profit margins, then a security guard is essential. A good security professional will provide a visual deterrent, making thieves less likely to target your store. When combined with CCTV monitoring, you also have a better chance of securing a conviction if you press charges.

A shop security guard also offers peace of mind to your customers. If there is a disturbance in the store, they will feel more comfortable knowing there is a trained professional there to handle it.

And finally, show security guards take the pressure off your floor staff to monitor for thieves. Shop retail staff are trained to help customers and to secure sales. They are not trained to spot the signs of a potential shoplifter. Placing the onus of preventing theft on the shoulder of your shop staff will make them less effective at their job, as they will approach everyone as if they are a potential criminal instead of approaching them as a customer.

Do You Need Floor Security or CCTV Security?

This all depends on the size and location of your shop and the value of the products you sell. A boutique store with high value items on sale would benefit from CCTV and a security guard on the floor.

A small shop with lower value items might choose between CCTV and a security guard. A large shop in a shopping mall might choose a security guard on the floor and then rely on the mall CCTV security to provide additional coverage.

If you’re not sure which level of protection you require for your retail environment, consider consulting with a security guard company for your business. They will be able to advise you on the optimum level of protection based on your store type and layout.

Remember that your needs may also change over time. If you have a series of thefts or your customers are feeling intimidated by certain characters in your store, you might consider bringing in a security guard for a short time.