Tag Archive for: retail

Catching shoplifters is costly and dangerous according to experts, and is a that liability retailers should avoid. But loss due to shoplifting costs retailers $44 billion annually and is certainly a problem that should be addressed. Experts in the science of crime say the best course of action is to concentrate heavily on deterrence.

Criminals Assess Risk Differently

Do not expect to understand the criminal mind. Even more importantly, do not base your security strategies on what you think they are thinking– because it just won’t work. Criminals do not assess risk the same way as others and what risk they do measure is countered with whatever the perceived advantage in addition to the momentary value, which can include “the thrill of the get”. Criminologists explain that the criminal must “see, get, fear” deterrents— that is they must see them, understand what they do and fear that they work well enough to land them in jail.

Why Deterrence is So Important

Ask any retailer, catching a shoplifter is a lot more difficult than what most people may think. If you suspect a shoplifter, you must have eyes on them from beginning to end and then apprehend them at the last point of sale, or outside the building. Once confronted, the person can become violent and the situation turns dangerous. When you factor in additional costs and risks such as liability issues it is easy to see why a healthy objective would be to deter as much crime as possible in the first place.

2 Important Ways to Thwart Theft

There are two important ways to deter theft. One is by making it too difficult by the use of things like by making it difficult to take an item without notice, such as alarming displays or having the item close to store personnel. The second is by making it too risky by using things like video surveillance and CCTV and having employees make personal contact with each shopper.
These tactics may seem simplistic, but they work with human nature. Criminals know that once they are seen and that eyes are on them it is game over because they are certain to be caught.

The most effective crime deterrent is owning the crime prevention process and fully leveraging security technologies such as video surveillance and CCTV. Security Instrument has been equipping companies since 1960 and understands the retail environment.

For a business that caters to Valentine’s Day shoppers, diners or spectators, the most romantic weekend of the year may actually be the riskiest. If you own a restaurant, retail establishment or destination property, check out these tips on Valentine’s weekend security for your business.


Your dining room may have the lights down low, but your wireless IP video cameras should still be rolling. On a high-traffic night like Valentine’s Day, the security risks are higher and your vigilance should be as well. While you’re busy watching the floor, supervising the staff or managing the reservation list, keep your virtual keypad app handy to remotely access your interior and exterior cameras. Record clips that look suspicious, view images that pique your interest and have clips emailed to you for future reference if necessary.


If you own a retail establishment that’s in high demand on February 14, then it’s a day to amp up security measures during peak hours. Own a jewelry store? The same guideline about your cameras applies, and it may not be a bad idea to have the entire staff on hand that day. Florists, thieves may not be in the market for roses – but they are prone to act on days they know will be profitable for you. After all, they want to get their hands on as much register cash as possible. So whether you sell 24 karat gold, flowers or heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, be on high alert this Valentine’s Day.


How about businesses that don’t provide the services Valentine’s Day is famous for? Those establishments are at risk too. Maybe you plan to close up early because Valentine’s Day is a notoriously slow day or evening. If so, be sure to check all entrances to make sure locks are securely in place and cameras are operating. Then, don’t forget to arm your system before you leave. Don’t like giving your employees the alarm code? Pull out your phone and use your virtual keypad to do it yourself, from wherever you happen to be.

No matter what business you’re in, your security system can be indispensable this Valentine’s Day. To learn more, contact Security Instrument and request a free security consultation.


Security Instrument is Delaware’s largest full-service independently-owned security company, serving thousands of customers throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

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.

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.

Whether you are upgrading an existing system or installing a new one, the effectiveness of your access control system will depend greatly on the preparation you do before installation in evaluating the environment, materials and circumstance as well as knowing how you will use it in the immediate and projected future.

Avoiding Extra Cost, and Headaches

As a business, you want to delegate your electronic security budget wisely and have components that are well-designed, and expertly fit to your specific objectives. That requires a bit more effort than a plug-and-play system. The good news is that if you ask yourself some simple questions, you can identify your real needs and communicate them to your commercial security company and the technician. If you have trouble nailing it down, don’t worry. A professional security integrator can help you sort out your needs and explain the various access control technology options.

Top Questions to Ask Before Installing Access Control

Here are the top questions to help you find solutions that are right for your business and facility.

Why Do You Need Access Control?

  • Do you need to increase safety by controlling entrances and exits?
  • Do you need to avoid replacing keys or rekeying locks?
  • Do you have a high employee turnover rate?
  • Is it important to know who is on the premises at all times?
  • Do you need to make certain areas off limits or accessible only to some?
  • Is it important to protect products, supplies, or equipment?
  • Do you need to closely restrict or monitor access at all times?

Should Your Access Control System Include Biometrics?

  • Are there areas you need to know when it was accessed and by whom?
  • Do you need to make certain areas off limits?

Should Your System Include the Perimeter of the Property?

  • Is it important to restrict access to more than just the exterior structure?
  • Are you wanting to prevent vandalism?
  • Do you have outdoor storage areas that need protection from theft?

Should You Have Layers of Access Control?

  • Are there other areas that need to be restricted to the public but accessible to most employees?
  • Do you need to restrict some areas to only upper-level management?

What Features Will Benefit Your Business?

  • Proximity (touchless)
  • Biometrics
  • Remote smartphone control
  • Key fobs or cards
  • Keypads
  • Scalability
  • Integration with video surveillance systems
  • Tied to other smart devices such as occupancy sensors or temperature detectors

Whether the focus is on tighter cash or inventory controls, theft detection and deterrence, or improved labor management, access control and integrated solutions from Security Instrument positively impact retail operations. Contact us today to learn more. 

About Security Instrument

Never compromise your security. Always use professionally designed and installed access control systems, specifically designed your needs. Security Instrument Corp serves thousands of retail customers throughout DE, MD, NJ, and PA with advanced security solutions for storefronts and small business owners.