Is Your Retail Business at Risk?

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), shrink accounted for $46 billion worth of losses in 2018. Shrink, of course, covers a wide array of inventory loss – from theft, shoplifting and fraud to simple human error. Yet, we can all agree a large part of that is undoubtedly theft. What's worse, 20% of shoplifters are likely to continue targeting the same retail chain. So implementing a good security policy is vital for the continued profitability of any retail business.

With so many high-tech security options available for modern businesses, you might wonder why your business should consider security guards. However, when you look in detail at the benefits a physical security presence offers, you may find it makes more sense to hire security guards now more than ever before. While it's easy to identify the concrete advantages to adding physical security, let's instead take a look at some of the less tangible advantages security guards offer retail businesses.

The Hidden Benefits of Retail Security Guards

Human Discretion

Sometimes there's a right way to do something and a smart way to do it. These aren't always necessarily going to be the same thing. For instance, you might have an “all shoplifters will be prosecuted” policy in place. What is that rule actually there for though? Do you really want to be the long arm of the law in your area? Of course not. Your rules are in place with the single goal of reducing loss – by detecting and deterring shoplifters. 

That's where a trained security guard comes into play. Their priority, like yours, isn't to be the police – it's to protect your company's profitability. Consider when that shoplifting rule needs to be applied and the culprit is a minor. Or consider an elderly customer who may very well have accidentally walked off with an unpaid for item. Having a security guard allows for intelligent, human discretion. 

You will have a highly trained professional who can not only follow your rules but interpret them in a meaningful, productive manner that puts the success of your company as their central goal. Sometimes calling the police and prosecuting may be in the best interest of your business, but there are plenty of times when it is more hassle than it is worth. So let a professional handle the situation and determine the best way to resolve the issue.

Company Image

In the age of social media, retail businesses can suffer enormous losses of reputation and sales over single, isolated incidents. Smaller companies have even gone out of business over bad online publicity. Look no further than YouTube to find endless videos of seemingly maligned customers treated with varying degrees of indifference, condescension and outright hostility.

You may think your employees are well-trained and prepared to handle such incidents, but this is not necessarily the case when you are dealing with shoplifters. Firstly, it is hard to predict how even a well-trained and polite employee will deal with the stress of confronting someone committing a crime in your store. Unfortunately, a shopper with a smartphone is likely to capture the incident and post it to their social media accounts, causing a potential outcry from the public. 

Furthermore, without a security guard presence, the police are far more likely to be involved in any situation. This can further complicate matters because the police don't work for you. You're not responsible for them and cannot control their words or actions. Sadly - though you understand this fact, potential customers are not always so understanding.

Note anytime a news report comes out involving a police officer mistreating a person at a place of business. See how often it is mentioned that an employee called the police to respond to an incident. The central problem is that, in many customers' minds, the police are an extension of your business. 

Having your own security, on the other hand, means they do represent you. By controlling how your security guards respond to shoplifters and other security matters, you are in effect sharing the values you want to impress upon your customers. So while a police response can damage your standing with customers, having your own security guards can actually have a positive effect on your image.

More than meets the eye

You are already aware of the advantages of having security guards walking the floor of your business. They are a visual presence for deterrence, they can respond to a detected theft instantly and they can identify a theft in progress. However, they can also be a front line in protecting your store's image – a factor that can cost your business far more than shrink ever has. 

Do you think your retail business would benefit from security guard services? Contact Off Duty Officers, the leader in private security guards throughout the United States. Our security experts can help you assess the security needs of your retail store and help you identify the best solutions for your needs.  

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

3 Reasons Retailers Should Hire Private Security Guards for Black Friday

According to the National Retail Federation, retail sales this holiday season are expected to exceed those of last year. Reports indicate a 3.8 to 4.2 percent increase resulting in sales of around $730 billion. Although online shopping numbers have continued to grow, that does not mean that shoppers are avoiding the brick-and-mortar stores altogether.

Many still enjoy the thrill of the in-store experience and the hunt for bargains. However, crowds of frenzied shoppers can lead to dangerous safety and security issues. Emotions run high as large groups rush to be the first to grab the best deals. Stories of people being trampled, seriously injured or even killed while Black Friday shopping have made headlines over the years. 

As a retail store owner or manager, the safety and security of your employees, customers and property should be a top concern this holiday season. Retailers across the country face unique security challenges from Black Friday through Cyber Monday as shoppers converge on retail establishments in droves. Some of the most prevalent security issues retailers face include:  

  • Shoplifting by thieves and employees  
  • Vandalism and destruction of store property
  • Parking lot related incidents including car accidents, arguments and traffic jams
  • Fraudulent use of credit cards
  • Unruly crowds and the threat of trampling
  • Customer-on-customer violence
  • Customer-on-employee violence

How Do You Protect Your Business?

With these kinds of security challenges, retailers need effective solutions to keep their employees, customers and merchandise safe. In addition to hiring professional security guards during the busy holiday shopping season, retailers should reassess their current security systems. Faulty or outdated systems can leave your business vulnerable and your employees at risk.

Speaking of employees, the period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday represents some of the busiest and most taxing workdays of the year for retail employees. Many of them will be faced with situations that they rarely encounter other times of the year. Retailers should prepare their employees for the rush by providing additional training on theft prevention, handling angry customers and emergency procedures. A little preparation can go far in helping your employees to feel confident and able to act in the face of a threat. 

One of the most effective ways to protect your business during Black Friday is to hire temporary, professional security guards. Private security companies can dispatch trained security officers who understand your security risks and have the knowledge and skills to keep your business safe and secure.

3 Reasons Retailers Should Hire Private Security Guards for Black Friday

Are you wondering if you need private security guards for Black Friday? If you plan on being open for business, you should plan on hiring a team of professional security guards to keep your retail store protected.

There are many advantages to hiring a private security company for the holiday shopping season. Here are 3 of the top benefits for your business:   

Receive a comprehensive risk assessment

Working with a private security company offers more than just trained guards. Security professionals can help you assess the risks that are unique to your business and property. They can identify potential vulnerabilities in your systems and processes and provide practical solutions so you can be prepared. Black Friday is unlike most other shopping days. Security professionals can give retailers peace of mind in knowing that they have covered all their bases when it comes to protecting their business.

Deter thieves and catch shoplifters  

Crime is high on Black Friday. From pickpockets to shoplifters, theft rates rise at retailers across the country. Thieves take advantage of the large crowds, distracted shoppers and the overall chaos of the day to perpetrate their crimes. Security guards act as a visible deterrent to would-be criminals. Guards are also trained to identify suspicious behavior, so they can prevent a theft before it occurs. As an extra set of eyes on your merchandise, retail guards can act fast to protect your property.

Keep people safe and secure

You’ve probably seen videos of shoppers rushing through the gates of a retail establishment as soon as they open. People push and shove their way through the crowd to be the first one to score the deal of the day. Imagine if one of your employees or customers got caught under the crowd or pushed into the chaos. Serious injuries occur when crowds get out of hand. Security guards act as gatekeepers, controlling crowds to ensure that people enter and exit your store in a safe and orderly fashion. They are also on hand to intervene in the event of a fight or other type of altercation.

Off Duty Officers: Your Partner in Security for Black Friday and Beyond

For over twenty years, Off Duty Officers has provided top-notch private security guards to businesses across all industries. As one of the premier security guard companies in the nation, retailers have trusted us to provide reliable temporary security officers when they need it most. Our guards can help you prevent theft, violence and injury so that your customers can shop with ease and peace of mind this Black Friday.

Learn more about protecting your business during Black Friday by contacting our team of security professionals today. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

How to Spot a Shoplifter

Shoplifting is not a new concern for retailers across the country. The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention notes that shoplifting is one of the most frequently occurring crimes, averaging about 550,000 occurrences per day. Shoplifters are often hard to catch, and many of them repeat the crime time and again. Because it is so common, the far-reaching repercussions of shoplifting in our communities often go unnoticed.

Why We Should Care About Shoplifting

Shoplifting means more than taking unpaid-for merchandise from a store. It can also include having the intent to steal merchandise. What does that mean? Intent to steal can consist of things such as swapping price tags or removing security sensors or product packaging. Research has shown that 1 in 11 Americans have admitted to shoplifting. The numbers are even higher for young people under the age of 16. 

With other, more dangerous crimes occurring every day, you may wonder why we should care about retail fraud. The truth is that shoplifting not only costs retailers money, but it drains communities of resources as well. According to the NASP, shoplifting crimes cost retailers about $50 billion every year. Stolen merchandise results in loss of tax revenue for communities. Those convicted of the offense continue to cost taxpayers money as they enter the justice system. Additional studies have found that retail theft is often a precursor to more serious crimes that could put community members in danger.

6 Warning Signs of a Shoplifter

Shoplifting is a crime that occurs throughout the year and shows a significant increase during the busy holiday shopping season. For retail store owners and managers, it may be impossible to stop theft altogether. However, there are many security precautions that retailers can take to protect their businesses. Perhaps one of the most important ways to prevent shoplifting is to know the warning signs. While there is no standard profile of a shoplifter, there are some telltale behaviors that can give them away.

We have gathered 6 of the most common signs of a potential shoplifter. Hopefully, you can use these clues to train your employees and reduce your chances of becoming a victim of a crime. Be on the lookout for these indications of a potential shoplifter:

Oversized Bags: You might not consider it abnormal to carry around a large purse, backpack or reusable shopping bag. But as a savvy retail employee, this should be a red flag. Thieves want to steal as much as possible, as quickly as possible. Large bags can help a shoplifter conceal a lot of merchandise fast before they make their getaway.

Baggy Clothing: Another way that shoplifters conceal merchandise is under large or loose clothing. Oversized sweatshirts, coats and pants can easily hide stolen goods. Employees should also look out for people who are wearing more clothing than makes sense for the weather. Coats in the summertime should raise a red flag. 

Frequent Visits and Loitering: Is there a customer that has visited your store numerous times but has never purchased anything? Or maybe they appear to be waiting for something or someone that never shows up? Shoplifters often scope out the store and monitor the employees before attempting their crime. They may be loitering as they wait for the perfect opportunity to take your merchandise.

Distraction Techniques: To have a better chance of pulling off their crime, shoplifters may use several distraction techniques to divert your employees. Some common examples include requesting out-of-stock items that are located in the back storeroom or asking questions about a product to keep your employees in one part of the store. Shoplifters often work in groups; beware of large groups or groups that split up upon entering the store.

Nervous Mannerisms and Behavior: There are often physical signs that someone might be about to commit a crime. Train your staff to look for excessive sweating, fidgeting or the inability to make eye contact. The shoplifter may also show signs of being hyper-aware of their surroundings, like constantly looking around or scoping out the security cameras. 

Abnormal Dressing Room Conduct: It is common for shoplifters to use the dressing rooms as a base to perpetrate their crime. Retailers should recognize when a customer spends an excessive amount of time in the dressing room. They should also be aware of people who exit the dressing room with fewer items than they entered with. 

Prevent Shoplifting at Your Retail Establishment 

In addition to training your employees to recognize the warning signs of a shoplifter, retailers should take other security measures to protect themselves. Installing up-to-date cameras and arranging your store to improve visibility and security are two very effective ways to prevent retail fraud.

Retail Security Guards with Off Duty Officers 

Hiring professional retail security guards to patrol your store for suspicious behavior is another highly successful method of deterring shoplifters. When you want to protect your business and employees, you need a team of experienced retail security officers to do the job. To find out more about the retail security solutions at Off Duty Officers, contact our team to get a free quote and learn how we can help you prevent merchandise loss at your business. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

5 Reasons to Hire Security Guards for a Retail Business

Managing or owning a retail store comes with a lot of responsibility. Your primary concern is the security of your merchandise, employees and customers. Retail stores have a constant flow of people coming in and out. With so many people flowing through one area, theft and personal security threats are very real concerns.

One of your first lines of defense in securing your retail business should be a security guard. Private security from Off Duty Officers can provide you with benefits that an alarm system alone cannot provide. A dedicated security guard for your business has the training to identify suspicious people and behaviors before a crime takes place. Let’s explore 5 of the greatest benefits of hiring security guards for your retail business.

5 Reasons to Hire Retail Security Guards

Deter Shoplifting

Shoplifting is the most prevalent crime that occurs in a retail business. Especially during busy hours, it is impossible for business managers to keep track of everyone in the store, not to mention the merchandise. Shoplifting can result in a lot of money lost for a business. And if you are a small business owner, the monetary losses will hit even harder.

Professional security personnel act as a visual deterrent to thieves, ensuring that these criminals are caught before they get away with their crimes. Guards can stand near your entrances and exits reminding people that you take security seriously. If they attempt something, they won’t get away with it.

Store visitors are not the only ones who can commit theft at your business. Employees are responsible for a high percentage of theft at retail stores. However, when your employees know that there is a dedicated security guard who is tracking their activities, they will be far less inclined to steal.

Better Customer Service

Uniformed security officers on site become a trusted part of your business in the eyes of customers. Your patrons will see the guards as a part of your team and rely on them for information like directions, business hours and any other basic assistance they may need. Security guards can also act as an escort to customers or employees who are leaving the premises late at night, giving them confidence knowing that they are safe at any time of day.

Increased Overall Security

Although theft is one of the biggest security issues for retail establishments, there are other crimes and threats that commonly occur in a retail business. Security guards are specifically trained to identify suspicious behavior and people to prevent threats before they turn into crimes or emergencies. Our guards are also skilled at using techniques to de-escalate potentially violent situations, keeping your staff and customers safe and happy.

Immediate Emergency Response   

If an emergency occurs, your private security guard acts as a first responder. They are trained to act swiftly, calmly and effectively in the face of a high stress or dangerous situation. The guards from Off Duty Officers include off-duty or retired law enforcement or military personnel so they know how to handle difficult situations and manage large groups of people safely and efficiently. Many are also trained in medical emergency response like CPR and First Aid so they can manage a situation until medical personnel arrives on the scene.

Your Most Valuable Asset: Peace of Mind

In addition to the benefits listed above, private security guard services provide you with something even more valuable: peace of mind. Professionally trained and highly competent security guards can give you confidence that your business is secure, even when you are far from the premises. Retail security guards know how to mitigate security threats and respond when an emergency happens.

Off Duty Officers Retail Security Services

Since 1993, Off Duty Officers has been providing professional off-duty and retired police officers and military personnel to customers nationwide. Our reputation for offering the best-trained guards in the industry helps us rise above the competition.

When you need quality, affordability and security at your retail business, contact Off Duty Officers. Our team can help you understand the security options that will best meet your needs and budget. Contact us for a quote today.

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.