Tis’ the season for giving… and taking!


For retailers, Christmas trading can be a time of mixed emotions.  On a positive note, Christmas represents a time when sales go through the roof and the spirits of staff and customers are generally high. Conversely, Christmas can (for many retailers) represent a time when the seasonal hustle and bustle sees stock walk out the door in the hands of those less honest shoppers!

A recent article in the Herald Sun discussed how supermarket giant, Coles is cracking down on sticky-fingered customers after noticing a rise in shoplifting following the introduction of self-service tills. To help retailers secure their stock and festive spirits this Christmas, Signal Security has put together a list of simple tips which are not only good in theory, but in practice too.

  • Many hands make light work: One of the biggest problems with Christmas theft is that retailers are often understaffed as in-store traffic increases.  To ensure all customers are attended to, and those thinking of grabbing a five-finger discount think again, make sure you roster on extra staff (you can always send them home if you’re not as busy as expected).
  • Use the eyes in the back of your head: Whether it’s for stores with nooks and crannies or those that are too large for one person to keep a watchful eye over, theft does not discriminate.  Make sure you have your CCTV cameras working and active in locations that do the looking for you – try setting these up in auspicious locations and having a split-screen system at the front, so not only you but your paying customers will see the misdeeds of those less honourable.
  • Keep cash supplies to a minimum: As a basic loss prevention measure, retailers should minimise the amount of cash held at point-of-sale areas and always use safes to secure cash.
  • Take the train to security: Because many retailers will employ additional casual staff over the Christmas period, it’s important to provide training for new staff (and a refresher course for existing employees) on the company’s safety and security procedures so everyone is working to the same rules.
  • Confrontation is key: Having a great security system is key, but knowing what to do if you catch someone in the act is something entirely different.  Ensure staff know what to do in the event of theft, including how to approach a suspicious customer, how to respond to aggressive behaviour, what to do if the store EAS (electronic article surveillance) system activates, and who to call to report an incident.[1]

By activating and being aware of the methods for keeping retail environments safe and secure this Christmas, focus can be placed on the things that really matter: enjoying the festive season with friend and family.

If you feel that you need to bolster your store’s security before the holiday season, beat the rush and give us a call today on 1300 73 83 93 and talk to one of our Retail Loss Prevention Specialists about the many ways we can help you and your business loss.


[1] http://www.current.com.au/2013/09/10/article/Top-tips-for-avoiding-retail-theft-in-the-lead-up-to-Christmas/FTGXXXWHFN