With the rise in retail crime consistently making the headlines, many retailers are finding themselves struggling to keep both their staff and their stores secure.

Retailers continue to have challenges when it comes to security and loss prevention, and are looking for ways to increase profits, reduce theft, and make efficiencies. The British Retail Consortium recently reported that incidents of theft have increased by 27 percent across 10 of the largest cities in the UK, with some cities reporting up to a 68 percent increase.

With cloud-based video surveillance, video alarms and cloud video integrations just some of the systems available to manage the many threats, these technologies enable retailers to scale and innovate with confidence. The implementation of SaaS video security platforms allows brick-and-mortar stores to protect against theft and enhance business compliance, all while accurately and securely managing their inventory.

Additionally, retailers can ensure that the customer-facing section of the store is issue-free and well-managed, while simultaneously monitoring stock rooms and certifying that employee areas are safe and compliant.

Best Practices for Loss Prevention

While theft is often the main focus of loss prevention strategies, it’s important to differentiate between internal theft and external theft, with common types of loss including point-of-sale (POS) theft, supplier fraud or error, employee theft, and shoplifting.

Implementing a secure POS system is crucial as it can measure unique employee login credentials, cash handling procedures, and regularly reconciles sales records to prevent employee fraud and checkout theft.

The use of data analytics tools to analyse sales data, inventory levels and transaction patterns helps to highlight high-risk areas, times or products susceptible to losses. And with the help of the data from sources like POS systems, surveillance cameras and access control, losses are clear, enabling businesses to act on and minimize the risk of theft.

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Providing comprehensive training to employees on loss prevention techniques is also essential. Encouraging staff to remain vigilant and proactive in detecting and preventing theft can greatly contribute to loss reduction, which can be made easier by store layouts that enhance visibility and minimize blind spots.

Establishing strong inventory management practices to track merchandise from procurement to sale — through technology such as barcode systems or radio frequency identification (RFID) — can accurately monitor stock levels, identify discrepancies, and detect any irregularities quickly. This can then be enhanced with modern security systems, which now incorporate the use of artificial intelligence.

The Power of AI

By deploying a robust video surveillance system that includes high-risk areas such as entrances, exits and POS locations, video surveillance can act as a deterrent and provide valuable evidence for investigations.

AI-powered video analytics are able to analyse surveillance footage in real time to detect suspicious activities. This enables immediate alerts to store personnel. AI-powered inventory management systems can also be incorporated, accurately tracking inventory levels, detecting discrepancies, and identifying cases of internal theft or inventory shrinkage.

Furthermore, AI tools are able to automatically analyse transaction data and identify irregularities that may indicate fraudulent activities by employees or customers. This enables retailers to investigate and address incidents promptly.


Addressing Emerging Challenges

Loss prevention requires a multifaceted approach and continuous adaptation to evolving threats. By implementing robust inventory management practices, effective training programs, video surveillance and analytics, retailers can minimize losses, enhance security, and create a positive shopping experience for customers.

Every retail environment is unique, and loss prevention strategies should be tailored to specific needs and risks as well as budgets. By regularly assessing the effectiveness of your loss prevention initiatives, embracing new technologies and best practices, retailers can achieve significant results and foster a culture of security and integrity in their stores.

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