5 Security Tips for Convenience Stores
As the owner of a convenience store, you know that when it comes to security there are a lot of challenges to be faced. The industry’s relatively high employee turnover rate, internal theft and robbery risks are all big issues for store owners like you. As a result you’ve probably spent a lot of time pondering and researching the best things to do to make sure that your store, your employees and your customers are safe and secure. And we want to help, which is why we’ve put together this list of things you can do to improve the security of your store!
1. Optimize the set up of your store.
There are certain physical aspects of your store that have a huge impact on its security. Those aspects being:
- Lighting – Having proper lighting of both the interior and exterior of your store makes people feel more comfortable. If an area is well light, it’s easier for employees and customers to notice suspicious behavior and take action.
- Floor plan – It’s important to have clear paths of visibility. Making it easy for employees and customers to see each other can prevent theft and keep both parties safe. Think about the positioning of displays, shelves, and signs. Are they set up in a way that allows customers and employees to see each other clearly? If not, do a little redecorating. Install smaller signs and use mirrors to see around corners.
2. Install some type of video surveillance system.
Having a video surveillance system, particularly one with remote access capabilities, can provide a number of benefits for you and your store including:
- Provide evidence in slip & fall disputes
- Provide evidence in the event of a robbery or other matter that involves the police
- Ability to keep an eye on employees when you aren’t in the store
- Ability to monitor customer flow and behavior
We recommend placing any cameras high on the wall in a clearly visible area. This is placement lets customers and employees know that they being recorded. Also, placing the cameras far out of arm’s reach prevents them from being easily damaged.
3. Training your employees.
It’s important to remind employees to keep a level head, use common sense during times of danger or stress and adhere to safety protocol. One way to give them this sense of empowerment is with periodic training for things like:
- How to identify and deal with shoplifters
- How to deal with customers that are threatening or aggressive
- How to answer probing questions about the business
All of your safety and security protocols and training should be documented so they can be referenced later.
4. Implement cash control systems and procedures.
The cash register protects the lifeblood of your business, your money. It’s also the primary location that robbers go when they enter a convenience store. As a result, it’s important to develop a series of best practices for handling money. Some things to consider adding to your cash control plan are:
- Make regular banks trips with a partner, because there is safety in numbers.
- Vary the times of banks trips to prevent robbers from figuring out your bank run schedule.
- Move money in nondescript containers, such as plastic storage tubs.
- Use a drop safe or other money storage receptacle. Once the till reaches a certain amount, put a given amount into the cash drop box, limiting the amount of cash that a burglar can steal from the cash register.
- Set bill size limits. For example, don’t accept anything larger than a $50.
5. Use a managed access system.
A managed access system is a series of hardware (card readers, door strikes, access cards, intercoms, video integration, etc.) and software that allows you to limit or grant access to your store. Having such a system can cover many different aspects of convenience store security and risk management.
You can determine which employees have access to storage rooms where high value goods like gift cards, tobacco and alcohol are kept. With a managed access system, you can also make sure that customers don’t end up anywhere that they shouldn’t.
If there is an incident in a restricted area, there will be a record to who accessed the area at what time.
Here at Supreme Security Systems we are experts in the convenience store security space. We work with a number of stores across New Jersey. If you would like to learn more about what we can do for your store and our recommendations, contact us today!