Retail Security in 2020: What Can Shops Do?

image of a shop interior

One of the constant battles retailers face up and down the country is trying to prevent shoplifting. For UK retail businesses, it is estimated that theft cost them £4,821 million. With crime costing retailers this much, it is imperative that retail security is tightened to ensure that this amount is reduced.

Retailers need, more than ever, to put in place effective retail security measures that can help reduce their losses. We’ve detailed before how retailers can prevent crime in their stores by meeting customers at the door and crime mapping. But, what else can they do to prevent shoplifting? Here are our top 5 effective retail security tips.

Top 5 Retail Security Tips:


1. Ensure your retail store is well lit

Shoplifting is drawn to shadows and darkness. If your shop is well lit, thieves will not be drawn to it as much as a shop that is dimly lit. Instead of making shoplifters lives easier, make sure that your store is well and properly lit.

That includes lighting corners, nooks and other areas so it doesn’t make your shop an attractive target for thieves. You can also install overnight security lighting to act as a deterrent when you don’t have staff members, customers and security guards on the premises.

2. Make security measures visible

One of the first security measures every retail store should take is having visible security guard presence and/ or signage. This can include having visible security signs such as ‘shoplifters will be prosecuted’, ‘smile you’re on CCTV’ and ‘shoplifting is a crime’. These types of signs help to deter shoplifters. Alongside also making sure that your store has CCTV or a manned security presence in the shop.

3. Use customer service to your advantage

Arguably, one of the easiest ways to deter shoplifting in your shop is to use the delivery of excellent customer service to your advantage. When your staff deliver natural and good customer service (such as greeting customers and asking if they need any help) then you are taking one small step to reduce crime within your shop.

Shoplifters like to move around unnoticed, so by your team members and staff chatting with them as well as customers, then they are less likely to steal.

4. ‘Facing’ products

Facing products is a common retail method that creates the look of a perfectly stocked store. But, it is also an effective way of preventing shoplifting. By placing merchandise on the edge of shelves and displays in a row and one deep, then, when one is taken from the shelf it creates an obvious gap.

When an obvious gap is created, it means that shoplifters are less likely to steal. It also means that staff members in the shop can monitor what has been taken off the shelves, and whether all products removed have been paid for.

5. Ensure staff are trained and implement proper security protocols

As shop workers in your store are effectively your first line of defence that is crucial that you make sure they are well trained in following and implementing proper security protocols. When staff are prepared and aware of what they should do if they witness a crime taking place, it means they are focused, remain vigilant and help fight it.

When shop staff witness a crime taking place they should be advised to alert on-site security, their manager or call the police. It is key that staff safety is a priority and reiterated that preventing theft is more important than attempting to approach a suspected shoplifter.



If you’re interested in increasing the security of your premises and helping to prevent crime, Umbrella Security Services can help. For more information on our security services, please call our dedicated team on 0121 554 2761. Alternatively, you can fill out our online contact form, and we’ll be in touch.

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