Keep Your Retail Business Safe

Thinking about aesthetics is Retail 101 — but unfortunately in the name of good store design, the equally important area of store safety can easily be overlooked. The fact is, whether you sell kitchen supplies or children’s clothing, when you run any type of retail business, security is vital. That’s because if your store’s safety is compromised, it won’t matter at all how pretty your store looks. Both your employees and your customers must know they’re safe before they can focus on anything else. So how do you create the kind of retail setting that both draws in customers and prioritizes security? What goes into proper retail safety measures? How do you know that your retail business is safe?

To answer these questions, let’s consider the following important tips for keeping your retail business protected. When you want to create the kind of setting where security is emphasized, here’s where to start.

1. Implement Security Measures: Theft and burglary are real threats in the retail industry, right along with improper cash management and product or cash shrinkage. One way to proactively work against these threats is with security measures like video surveillance. Monitor your business and the people working in it with video cameras that track what’s happening and when. Look for a surveillance system that allows you to search for data by date and/or time period in order to simplify your efforts to see what happened to cash on Thursday afternoon, for example, without watching the entire week’s recordings.

2. Monitor and Maintain Facilities: Part of protecting your store involves protecting your facilities, through both regular and preventative maintenance. Clean and take care of your store, which includes immediately attending to spills, clutter, floor damage, etc., as well as putting up proper signage about wet areas or closed-off sections. Likewise, implement a preventative maintenance program to prevent hazards and protect facility damage from becoming serious. To ensure you have proper ventilation so that employees and customers aren’t breathing in harmful substances like mold, fungus or bacteria, use a mechanical air system to circulate and cycle in fresh air — and check on it regularly to make sure it’s doing its job.

3. Light It Up: Properly lighting your store not only provides a deterrent against crime, but it also prevents accidents, increases product visibility and makes it easier for staff members to monitor your goods. Implement lighting throughout your shop, as well as in the front and back in the supply rooms.

4. Prepare for Emergencies: Any business that deals with the public faces risks of accident or injury occurring on its premises. Beyond properly maintaining and caring for your store, be prepared for unplanned accidents by keeping a first-aid kit on hand. Likewise, train your employees in cpr and emergency response so they know what to do if someone gets cut, falls, chokes or otherwise faces danger.

5. Create Response Plans for Natural Disasters: Nobody wants to think about a hurricane or an earthquake happening in the area, but natural disasters are a part of life. Whether you live in a flood plain or in an area prone to heavy snowfalls, create specific response plans for how your store will respond when weather-related problems occur. Your company handbook and your staff training should concretely address what you expect your employees to do, what measures will dictate an early close and/or where staff should go when conditions worsen to a certain point.

When it comes to the security of your store, it’s vital that you implement appropriate safety measures — both to protect your profits and to protect your people. In addition to following the steps outlined above, regularly monitor and adjust systems as needed, based on new threats that arise. When you invest in the right security devices and procedures, you will give your staff and your customers the confidence they need to have peace of mind in your retail space.

About the author:
Wes Wernette currently oversees marketing at FireKing Security Group (http://www.fireking.com/) in New Albany, IN. The company specializes in products and services to secure your retail business assets, including safes, cash management products and file cabinets.

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