4 Reasons Why Your Independent Neighborhood Store Needs Security Cameras
For those of you who own an independent, neighborhood market, the type of retail operation known affectionately as a “Mom-and-Pop” operation, you may think you know all your customers and believe they (the majority of them anyways) would never steal from you. But, how true is this? Just because you see the same customers come in your store day in and day out, does not mean some wouldn’t pocket merchandise….if they have the chance.
Statistics (and the bottom line) compel all retailers to remain ever-vigilant. For one thing, shoplifters do not all look alike. That successful businessman who comes in every week may be stuffing all kinds of merchandise into his attache case. Or, the woman who seemingly keeps punching buttons on your gas pumps in error could be installing a skimmer, to steal from customer credit cards, debit cards and your business. Many shoplifters even buy and steal merchandise during the same visit.
Also, how well do you know your employees? You may have a smaller staff than a national chain. Are you keeping an eye on the new part-timer? In an article on his website entitled “Employee Theft,” security expert witness Chris McGoey says an employer can make reasonable assessments of employees based on their conduct, integrity, and judgment. However, just like shoplifters, there is no physical profile of a dishonest employee (http://crimedoctor.com).
Shoplifting and employee theft are responsible for almost 67% of inventory shrinkage, according to the latest National Retail Security Survey presented at the National Retail Federation’s June 2017 PROTECT conference. These numbers might seem discouraging but there are things you, the retailer, can do to stop these thieves.
So how can you spot those who are stealing from your neighborhood market? Here are four ways to help you shrink your shrink with security cameras.
#1. Watch your employees
Neighborhood stores often employ the same workers for many years. So why suspect these workers of pocketing candy bars, batteries, or even cash from the register? People’s lives change sometimes. A trustworthy cashier might have changes in family finances. Or, that new temp might be tempted to steal. Small store owners may think this isn’t possible but an HD video security camera can catch the crime if it’s there.
#2. Watch your customers inside
Shoplifters may target a Mom-and-Pop, thinking there won’t be cameras. You get busy, helping a customer and merchandise can walk out the door. It’s impossible for a person to watch the store floor all the time…but HD CCTV can. If a shoplifter successfully steals from you once, they will likely try it again. Be ready to catch them on video.
#3. Watch your customers outside
Neighborhood stores with gas pumps have a double sales floor: inside and outside. Cameras may catch license numbers of customers who drive off without paying and thieves who attach a skimmer to pump pay to collect credit card numbers and your payments. Those who steal may think your store is not sophisticated enough to catch a thief but you can prove them wrong and keep your profit.
#4. Watch your backroom and vendors
Not all stores have a large backroom. However, no matter the size, this can be a place where merchandise or currency is shoved in a pocket. If you receive back door deliveries or your vendors take merchandise to the backroom for storage, you may be susceptible to vendor theft.
Backroom CCTV can catch it all. From the teen employee who uses a spray inhalant from the shelf to get high to the employee who steals gradually, one item at a time day after day.
You may have difficulty believing that the employees you selected, the small staff of a neighborhood store, people you may have known for years and even think of as an extended family might steal from you. But it happens and you physically cannot be everywhere at once. It pays to be vigilant with security cameras watching all.