Retail used to be so simple- open a store, source products, sell products, and buy more products. Now, following a time of unprecedented change in commerce, retailers exist in an environment where the margins are narrow and constantly under pressure from rising costs and lower pricing power. When you factor in retail shrink—the job is difficult indeed.

There is no question that retail shrink seriously strains profitability. Retail shrink is multifaceted and addressing the problem is complex, but one of the most effective ways is to think about security as a holistic approach to operations rather than just a tool to catch criminals. Here are a few important points to consider as you protect profitability.

  • Use security technologies to maintain operational execution standards. When people and processes are working well, profitability increases. When everyone is working optimally, any process that isn’t will stand out. Maintaining execution standards will also help employees catch criminal practices such as shoplifting and refrain from them themselves.
  • Follow the money. It is, of course, important to have a comprehensive video surveillance system and to cover POS, but it is also important to balance out, and budget for buying cycles.
  • Using access control can help protect your products, but video analytics can tell you what products are moving and which are not. Both of those aspects are critical in protecting profitability.
  • Video surveillance technologies are a huge crime deterrent and help stabilize loss. You can also use the technology to ensure on-shelf availability or to change displays, or product placement in the moment, rather than wait to figure out the reasons for poor or underperformance.
  • Increased oversight is always an advantage, but even more so when you have increased inventory for seasonal sales. Increased inventory is critical to seasonal sales but without increased oversight, the inventory can be very easily lost to shoplifting.
  • Video analytics can tell you a lot about what products are capturing attention. Analytics may also reveal why certain products are being stolen as opposed to others, such as not enough employee oversight in a particular area.
  • Another advantage of video surveillance is having the ability to evaluate the store in relation to patterns of theft and make adjustments to design and layout.
  • Security technologies are also useful in managing inventory, both on-shelf and in the backend or warehouse. This can lead to tighter inventory and avoid insufficient stock or dead inventory.

Security Instrument understands the needs of retailers and knows that security technologies are for far more than protection. They are instruments of success.

Stores are prime targets for after-hours burglary and break-ins. Retail burglary involves the breaking and entering into a business with the intent of stealing cash, merchandise, or equipment. Not only does it involve loss of valuable merchandise, it also often involves costly damage to the building – both of which are detrimental to the business.

Why Are Stores Targets?

One of the biggest reasons stores are targets of burglary is that they contain desirable and valuable items that can be either used or sold. Retail businesses are usually located in areas dedicated to commerce and once all the businesses close, there are fewer people and less traffic to observe any illegal activity. Stores generally have large glass fronts that can provide easy access. During closing, the staff is limited which is another attractive advantage to a criminal. Together, these factors add up to the perfect storm to attract crime.

Who Are the Criminals?

Generally, burglars are motivated by economic gain. While many shoplifters are opportunistic non-professionals, after-hours burglars are usually more skilled professionals and (though still highly opportunistic) employ more sophisticated planning, methods, and tools to execute their plans. They are more likely to have committed other crimes and are familiar with security features.

What Do Criminals Take?

According to the National Institute of Justice, criminals tend to choose targets based on convenience or desirability of goods within the store. Certain items draw more attention and commonly stolen items share particular attributes which fit into the CRAVED metric.

Concealable: Easily hidden in pockets, bags, or under clothing.
Removable: Portable and easy to carry.
Available: Widely available and easy to find.
Valuable: Expensive with high resell value among peers.
Enjoyable: Enjoyable to own or consume.
Disposable: Easily resold to a wide group of people.

How to Lower Your Risks for Burglary

Burglaries are not a random phenomenon. For the retailer, that is actually a good thing because there are factors that make businesses more, or less, a target and many of those factors are highly predictable and controllable. Even better is that the most effective strategies to combat burglary and theft involve simple environmental changes. Some of the most effective strategies include:

  • Increased lighting outdoors
  • Improved indoor lighting
  • The use of access control in storage and warehouse areas
  • Monitored security alarm systems with intrusion detection
  • Outdoor video surveillance
  • Indoor video surveillance
  • Having 24-hour presence

While you can’t prevent every incident of crime, what you put in place now can play an important role in deterring crime and catching criminals. Security Instrument has the technology you need to protect and propel your business.

No matter how large or small the business, retail security is far different from (and often more challenging than) any other enterprise. It is important to consider these differences because they directly impact the choices you make and the effectiveness of your security system.
So, how are retail enterprises different in security concerns? Here are the top 7 ways.

Multi-Focus Physical Security

Retailers have the difficult job of providing physical security across the entire footprint of the store. This is because most of the structure and merchandise is within reach of the public. The public is unvetted and roams freely.

Unusually Vulnerable Storefront

Many stores have a storefront that is largely glass, and highly vulnerable. Additionally, the business is usually closed at night which makes it much more of a target to potential thieves.

Largely Centered Around Loss Prevention

Unlike non-retail enterprises, retail stores must focus on loss prevention with a focus on video surveillance technologies covering vulnerable areas such as the retail floor, storage areas, and POS.

There is a Need for Advanced Analytics

In retail, one of the best ways to gain actionable insight on product, store, or employee performance is through detailed video analytics. These systems provide intelligence by capturing, analyzing, and reporting real-time data that help retailers make strategic decisions designed to improve operational efficiency and profitability.

Security Solutions Must Also Help Improve Customer Experience

Another important facet of retail security is that it should also provide a way to help improve customer experience. Retailers use it to review how the business works or doesn’t, as well as gauge customer satisfaction with transactions, employee performance, and how customers interact with product and displays.

Vulnerability to Fraud

Stores are also very vulnerable to acts of fraud such as slip and fall or claims of being injured on displays or by products or shopping carts and must consider this element in planning their security strategies. Injury claims are costly and very difficult to dispute in court without clear video of the event.

Injury Prevention

In addition to preventing acts of fraud, the retail security must also focus on preventing actual injury. Retailers must have a multi-view of the store and operations to eliminate obstructions and correct potentially dangerous conditions, such as folded or rippled mats or wet floors.

In the retail environment, security must enhance safety and improve overall operational efficiencies. Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service and independently-owned security company and understands the unique security needs retailers face.

After a relaxing summer break, the fall season hits many of us like a Mac truck. The schedules are suddenly filled with an increase of activities and responsibilities and end up a tangled mess with plenty of room for error. But before your fall season turns into something out of a horror movie, get everything under control using the tools afforded by home security and mobile control.

Competing Events

You have a teen that needs to be at cheerleading practice and a 4th grader who needs to be at an open house at the exact same time. Getting them there is the first problem. Getting them home is another. So, you take the younger to open house and have the teen ride with a friend to and from practice. When your oldest uses her own code to get into the house, you know she made it home safely.

Who Forgot to Lock the Door?

It happens. With everyone running out the door in one tidal wave of activity, something is bound not to get done. The problem is, some of those things that may get forgotten to be done can cause a real security risk; like not locking the door, or leaving the garage door open, or the stove on. Home automation and security technology help you make sure that forgetfulness doesn’t lead to disaster. An alert to your phone notifies you about the open garage, unlocked door, and the stove. With just a few taps, you can take care of all the issues from wherever you are without having to make the long trek back home.

Everything Else is Held Up Waiting on Someone Else

You’ve been waiting for hours for a visiting friend, family member, or service provider and waiting any longer could jeopardize your job. With secure entry from a smart lock, you can safely and easily let anyone in or out even if you are not home.

Keeping Everyone on Schedule

Keeping everyone on schedule because if one person is late, usually everyone else ends up late as well. By using home automation and mobile control you can prompt action and keep tasks moving along well. For example, use temperature control to create the best climate for sleeping or waking, have the lights come on to wake you up, and the coffee brewing so you can grab it on the way out.

When you use home security and mobile control technologies from Security Instrument, you never have to sacrifice time, convenience, or safety no matter how busy life gets.

For the retailer, storefront security is a huge priority– and a huge challenge. In fact, it is almost like hitting a moving target. While many of the security issues retailers face, such as shoplifting, employee theft, burglary, smash and grab, and fraudulent claims remain the same, the tactics used to accomplish them change and become increasingly sophisticated. Crime always has an opportunistic element however; retail crime has become increasingly calculated and committed by skilled professionals. To combat crime and mitigate loss, the retailer must maximize storefront security solutions.

The news headlines can sometimes be disturbing, but crime in the retail space is nothing new. Whether it is armed robbery, an organized theft ring, or acts of vandalism, the results can be devastating. Fortunately, retailers have more advanced options in storefront security solutions than ever.  Here are some simple ways to make sure you are getting the most out of your security.

Opt into Intrusion Detection

Burglary alarm protection is essential in any retail environment. Burglaries typically happen a night or after hours. In most cases, burglars break in through a glass door or window and leave before law enforcement can arrive. A comprehensive system deters break-ins and facilitates swift police response by alerting law enforcement immediately during unauthorized access.

Control Access

Pro Tip: Controlling and restricting access to any retail space is a core security measure. Every business has areas that are more sensitive than others.


Access control allows you to know when a door is opened, which one, and by whom. It produces an audit trail that makes it possible to detect security problems. When your system is equipped with things like electronic locks, you can respond to any emergency even if you are not at the business by tapping into the system and locking or unlocking doors remotely via the app.

Surveillance Cameras are a Must

Commercial video surveillance systems are a cornerstone of any security system. In addition to providing important business insights, security camera systems are a visual crime deterrent. The system provides the retail owner with the tools needed to monitor all of the critical areas of the business remotely, from a computer or smartphone, viewing multiple camera feeds or even monitoring multiple facilities.

Remember the Fire and Life Safety

Whether it is new construction, upgrade or a retrofit, fire and life safety systems are another important aspect of retail security. Fires and other similar emergencies devastate lives and businesses so catching problems at the earliest stages is critical. Keep your systems operating at their best with regular testing, maintenance, and inspections.

About Security Instrument

Retail and department stores face a number of security challenges which can leave the business vulnerable to internal theft, shoplifting, fraudulent claims, as well as disasters such as fire. Security Instrument has over 50 years expertise in electronic security and life safety detection and associated monitoring.

Living in the golden age of technology has some serious advantages. In just a couple of decades, we have gone from relying on corded phones for just communication to tiny handheld computers capable of dozens of functions simultaneously and remotely. It seems like everything has gone mobile, including home security. Now, more than ever, it is possible to stay connected to the things that matter in life with home security, home automation, and mobile control technologies. But is there a reason to want to? Definitely.

You might think that the ability to control your home remotely is a high-tech luxury function, it is actually an affordable reality with great practical applications. Here are just a few examples of how mobile control makes life better.

Centralized Mobile Control

Managing a multitude of devices from one place is of enormous advantage. Instead of having to learn many separate processes, you learn one and control them all.

Easily Integrate New Devices and Appliances

As more companies manufacture an increasing number of enabled products, you are able to easily integrate them into your system. Integrating newcomers seamlessly means you can add or upgrade your devices and appliances at will, and always have complete control.

Mobile Control Maximizes Home Security

Having home security is a plus, but incorporating security, surveillance, and automation features into a remotely accessed network multiplies the benefits exponentially. Connecting security features such as smart locks, motion sensors, and surveillance cameras means you can react to suspicious activity immediately even if you are not home. As a productivity tool, mobile control allows users to streamline and automate processes so you can close the home down on your heels as you leave, or have it prepping for your arrival as it senses your approach, via geofencing.

Remote Control Home Functions

If you have ever forgotten to close the garage, lock the door, or turn off an appliance, you know how nice it would be to be able to do it from afar. With remote control, you can.

Increased Energy Efficiency

Mobile control also helps improve energy efficiency. You never need to leave heating or cooling on in order to come home to a comfortable home when you can do it remotely just before you return home. Even better, program HVAC, lights, and electronics to respond to schedules or triggers so you minimize energy usage.

Home Management Insights

Being able to control your home is one thing, but it also provides an additional benefit of gaining insights into how your home operates. Not only does it give you the opportunity to change your energy habits, but provide real data to help you analyze your own life and habits.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument brings security, convenience, and control all to one place. Contact us today for a free consultation.

In retail security, video surveillance is one of the most valuable and proven tools in helping to protect employees, customers, and product. A security system is an investment, but it does not have an indefinite lifespan. Eventually, it will become necessary to evaluate your security system and decide if it is time for an upgrade.

Knowing when to upgrade your retail video surveillance system can be tricky. You want to be sure to get the most from your investment, but want it to retain its usefulness. So how do you know when it is time to upgrade this critical component of retail security? Once you know the facts, it is much easier than you think.

Is the Technology Out of Date?

Think of how often we upgrade our phones, or how many additional functions your current phone has over any of your previous ones. It is easy to want to hold on to old video surveillance system technology to “get the most out of it” but doing so can actually be costing you money. Video surveillance technology is quickly evolving, and today’s additional features likely add much more value than does holding on to an old system. For example, remote management provides unattended delivery monitoring, customized alerts, remote viewing, and verification—all of which help improve productivity as well as safety. Newer technology provides other advantages too, like greatly improved image resolution, scalability, storage, and system integration over systems from just a handful of years ago.
Compare your current system’s features to that of a new retail video surveillance system. If your system does not have features that could benefit your business, or has incompatibility issues, poor video quality, or insufficient storage, it is probably time for an upgrade.

Has the Business Changed or Expanded?

If the business has changed, such as had an addition of space or if you have added an additional location or warehouse space, it is probably a good time to upgrade your existing system. Every day video surveillance technologies become much smarter than their predecessors and offer the expanding business a huge array of advantage. Wireless networks provide limitless possibility in connecting multiple cameras and multiple locations to one remote platform for ultimate control.
Security Instrument Corp. is committed to integrity and responsible business practices and invests in strengthening its capacity to serve clients with excellence.