Our portfolio of services is provided by a team of skilled and qualified experts, who have in-depth knowledge of security principles and processes, a comprehensive understanding of your vertical, experience in developing intricate projects, and adherence to Security 101’s core values of fanatical customer service and integrity.

A Guide To Improve Security For Your Retail Store | Security 101




If you are a business owner operating a retail store, it’s important to safeguard the items you are selling with a video surveillance system and other security measures to discourage potential shoplifters. The likelihood of a robbery or theft occurring inside a retail business varies by area. Still, it’s best to be prepared so you can report unusual activity and stay alert during security breaches, especially during nighttime hours when a retail crime is most likely to occur because thieves think they won’t get caught by your store security system.

No matter what size your business is, security is something you need to take seriously so you can protect your employees, record unlawful behavior, and alert local police right after the crime occurs. Retail businesses are subject to a number of security threats such as shoplifting, property damage, vandalism, burglary, and even arson attacks. Today more than ever, a robust security system is needed to protect your inventory of goods.

Fortunately, there are a variety of security and surveillance systems available that can effectively monitor, safeguard, and protect small business retail stores, including commercial properties such as warehouses. Keep on reading for more information on the basics of what is needed to enhance security measures and keep your retail store safe on the inside and out.

Retail store security criteria: What you need to know

Protecting your merchandise is not the only priority when it comes to retail store security. In fact, sensitive information such as files, accounts, credit cards, and computer systems should be kept safe as well. There could be a possibility of a data breach that could result in the release of sensitive information that will be detrimental to your business and compromise your customers.

For example, if you have customer data in a file or stored in a computer, it’s just as vulnerable as the regular merchandise and money in your cash register in the event of a break-in by thieves. Retail security is more important now due to the rise of crime in various cities across the country, with opportunistic individuals hoping to snatch items and get away with it.

Here’s a brief overview of recommended security measures:

  • Install the right locks
  • Monitor all exterior doors
  • Change locks regularly
  • Consider buying a safe
  • Invest in a video surveillance system
  • Have multiple security cameras on the premises
  • Integrate an access control system
  • Incorporate electronic article surveillance

Obtain the right locks and access control

Door locks are critical to ensure your property is secured when you are not there. But the question is what door locks to use? The important key here is to prevent any forced entry from occurring. Door lock systems come in a variety of different shapes and sizes and have specialized functions. For example, a pin tumbler cylinder lock with a deadbolt is the standard (along with double cylinder locks). However, if you want something more advanced, you can get an access control system in the form of keypad readers, swipe card readers, or fingerprint scanners.

Monitor all exterior doors

Many retail store owners make the mistake of only safeguarding the main entrance and neglecting other vital areas. Criminals are smart and will tend to go for the entrance that is less busy or that no one would expect, which is very likely the rear entrance. Therefore, make sure that you protect not only your front-facing doors but the rear ones as well.

Regularly change the locks on entrances and exits

Another part of retail store security is having company standards in place that always protects your employees, wherever possible. This involves periodically changing the locks or codes (the gatekeeping mechanisms) of your entrances and exits. It’s essential to have a key management system in place that allows access to authorized employees and keeps unauthorized ones outside.

Moving beyond the cash register: Invest in a safe

During your business operations, your retail store will be generating cash from the products and services that you provide, and you want to keep the money you make in a safe place. In the unfortunate circumstance that a thief breaks in, you don’t want them to have easy access to that money. Cash registers are temporary placeholders and it’s recommended to invest in a durable and high-security safe to store your cash.

Install an anti-shoplifting system

After-hours protection is paramount to ensure your retail store is protected when you and your employees are not there. Investing in a quality security system is the solution. Many security systems are activated automatically once you close your store and can detect when forced entry takes place. These systems are equipped with video surveillance to help identify intruders, record their actions, and send alerts to the police.

Add security cameras/video surveillance systems

In order to have proof that your retail store was broken into or if you want to know how your merchandise was stolen, a network of security cameras will be able to let you see the culprits responsible. Some video surveillance systems are able to store large amounts of video, so you can monitor your store for extended periods of time to build evidence.

Integrate an access control system

Apart from regular customers that need to enter your store to purchase items, an access control system is highly recommended to see who has entered through exterior doors or opened interior doors that lead to a stock room or inventory room. Typically, each employee is given a unique access code that enables their activity within your store to be recorded (with data that reveals time and date). If high-ticket items go missing, your access logs will give you clues as to who might be responsible.

Utilizing electronic article surveillance (EAS) for merchandise

EAS systems are a common technology and anti-theft mechanism that prevents shoplifting, or at the very least, discourages shoppers from stealing. This works via electronic tags that are attached to the merchandise, which sets off an alarm if they cross a certain line of the store before being bought. When a customer wants to purchase an item, the cashier or store associate removes the EAS devices and deactivates them.

Extra tips to improve security at your retail store

To make your retail store more secure beyond just the basics like security cameras and access controls, you’ll need to outsmart potential thieves. For example, have entryways to your retail location be well-lit at night to discourage theft and forced entry. The bright illumination from lights makes it harder for burglars to find places to hide.

Sensitive data should be safeguarded with utmost priority because that information can compromise your business and your customers. Whether data is stored in a hard drive, computer, or file folder, keep them in a secure location that is only accessible to you and authorized employees.

In addition, it's also important to be insured and that you fully understand the terms of your retail insurance policy. Make sure that you opt for business property insurance that can protect your store’s valuable assets from theft and vandalism. The last thing you want to happen is to have the burden of paying the costs and expenses to repair damaged windows, replenish stolen inventory, and fix vandalized property from your own pocket.

Other security measures

Retail store theft is a serious problem that requires a determined business owner to prevent thieves from breaking in and wreaking havoc. Shoplifters can be sneaky and difficult to catch sometimes if the appropriate security measures are not in place. The good news is that because of the wide variety of security technology that exists today, retail stores can be equipped with the latest security systems to protect their property.

Important safety mechanisms and company policies

Adjust the lighting

Have enough lighting in areas inside and outside your retail store to prevent and discourage individuals from stealing.

Install corner mirrors

If your retail store has a lot of isles, consider installing ceiling mirrors to eliminate blind spots to provide an extra layer of deterrence.

Use RFID / Security tag systems

Are you selling a large amount of valuable merchandise? Radio-frequency identification (RFID) and Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) can be cost-effective ways to prevent theft.

Place warning signs

You’ve probably seen signs that say “Smile, you’re on camera” or “Warning: 24hr Surveillance,” they can make would-be thieves think twice before stealing.

Implement employee background checks and thorough interviews

Also, keep in mind that even employees can steal from your business. Therefore, you need to thoroughly vet individuals to ensure they will perform their job with integrity. Provide them with training materials, teach them the security policies you have, and make sure they know what to do when they encounter suspicious customers.