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According to the Australian Retailers Association, retailers are losing an estimated $2.7 billion a year due to shoplifting.
Australians count on retail spaces heavily for almost everything - from shopping to enjoying leisure activities. But, amidst all the hustle and bustle lies an unfortunate fact - wherever there is a shop, there is the scope for theft.
The endless list of retail store categories has something in common: theft!
As per the latest crime data report by the Bureau of Crime and Statistics Research, there is a significant increase in stealing from local retail stores. In September 2016, 912 local incidents of shoplifting have been recorded compared to 767 during the previous year, which states an increase of 18.9%.
The police found that supermarkets accounted for the most retail thefts with a whopping 23% of total reported retail theft across the state. This was followed by department stores at 14%, liquor shops at 9% and apparel stores at 8%. This specifies that the most common items stolen include liquor, apparel and other homewares as well as personal items like cosmetics, toiletries and electronic gadgets.
Adverse Effects of Crime in Retail Industry
Retail crime is an extensive term that includes shoplifting, employee theft, fraud, robbery as well as violence to the staff. These incidents can create damage, loss of work and profitability, low staff morale and in some cases, things can even turn fatal.
So, how serious is this issue for you?
#1 Stock Shrinkage
In 1987, Coles-Myer, Australia's biggest retail chain announced that 45,000 people had been caught stealing and out of these, 1400 were staff. Similarly, Grace Bros security officers detained 3500 people, including staff in 40 retail stores of New South Wales in the 1988-89 financial year.
There are various ways that a crime can be planned. Not only break-ins, at times the root cause of the loss is stock shrinkage. Though, the reasons for stock shrinkage can be anything from bad invoicing to bad recording. But, a major reason is theft by staff as well as customers.
As per the report of the Retail Traders' Association of New South Wales, every year there is a loss of 0.875% to 1.125% stock in the major department stores and up to 7% loss in the boutiques - a store that has an owner and up to two employees. This clearly states that stock shrinkage is one of the significant aspects that every retailer should take a note of.
#2 Employee and Customer Theft
According to an estimate pertaining to the retail industry situation, the customer theft accounted for 30-60% whereas the staff theft for 30-50%.
There are numerous reasons why employees are involved in such theft activities. Some of them are:
- Fixing the shrinkage records
- Adjusting the delivery dockets
- Under-charging customer accomplices
- Deliberately damaging the goods to buy at staff discount
- Using company time and facilities for personal projects
- Increasing the creditor's invoice and keeping the difference
- Replacing the top-quality items with second-hand ones in the store
- Conspiracies of middle management employees
- Straight forward theft of goods and money
Due to the negligence of the owner or lack of security measures, most of the staff theft, as well as customer theft, go unreported. No matter how big or small your retail store is; all types of retailers are susceptible to the growing issue of theft. Though, there are some signs that can alert you about shoplifting beforehand - this is where knowing the consumer’s behaviour can prove to be a helping hand.
Here are some instances of consumer behaviour which should alert you:
- Pays more attention to the employees than the merchandise
- Picks up any random product and pretends to look at it
- Walks in the opposite direction of employees
#3 Professional Robbery and Violence
With high unemployment and a recessional economy, armed robberies are becoming a major concern. Due to this very reason, the Australian banks have vastly improved their security. But, the reality is, the robberies are not just limited to the banks. Any organisation with cash on premises can be targeted for robbery. Sometimes, the professional robbers even come with arms, leading to violence and chaos on the premises.
If you are a retail store owner, manager or responsible for the construction of retail spaces, you should not ignore the safety aspect
With an increase in such crimes, are you taking enough precautionary measures to secure your store?
Let's focus on some possible solutions that every retailer must use to enhance safety for their retail store.
How to Secure Your Commercial Premises and Avoid Thefts?
- Identify where your losses are coming from.
- Educate your employees for shoplifting prevention.
- Organise your stores while putting up signboards and convex mirrors.
- Restrict areas for staff access with flexible barriers
- Install surveillance and security equipment
- Introduce more efficient inventory methods
- Secure your loading area with boom gates and docking bumpers.
- Make use of technology to track fraudulent transactions.
- Be prepared in case of an armed robbery.
Preventing Retail Crime is the Priority!
To upgrade the security measures, the Victorian government has more than tripled its spending, allocating $41 million for security tools like CCTV cameras and bollards.
CCTV cameras must be your first step towards crime prevention. It allows you to effectively monitor your store, personnel as well as unwanted intruders. With upgraded features, security cameras can offer you peace of mind that your retail store is intact. For a less costly option, convex mirrors offer greater visibility, and also enhance security.
Secondly, using bollard protection for your assets and storefront can save your store from ram-raiding, armed robberies or forced break-ins. In fact, bollards are one such safety device that are used across all industries.
These are the safety barriers that prevent unauthorised access to your retail store. If you want to explore the best range of bollards - Safety Xpress is your go-to choice.
We, at Safety Xpress, work closely with retail store owners, construction companies, and even tradies. We suggest and supply an extensive range of bollards at unbeatable prices. You can read more about why your business should definitely consider installing bollards.
Which Bollard Will Suit Your Retail Store?
You need to identify your security needs, explore our range of bollards and decide which type of bollard will work best for your retail store. We will help you find the suitable bollards for your store with expert guides like this one and even with over the phone consultation.
These are the types of bollards that are most popular in the retail industry, take a look:
#1 Above Ground or Surface Mount Bollards
These bollards are ideal where concrete cannot be core drilled. They are available in a range of sizes from 90mm to 168mm and come in a variety of finishes. Hence, you have an option to select from powder coating hot-dip galvanised steel, stainless steel with or without LED lighting. The best part is; we even do custom designs with your own logo. They can be easily installed. They will not only cater for you with premium security but will also increase the aesthetic value.
#2 Below Ground Bollards
These bollards can be core drilled or installed when new concrete is being poured. Available in a range of finishes and heights, they are typically designed and built for strength, so installing them in the existing concrete surfaces can solve your safety requirements.
#3 Removable Bollards - Surface Mount and Below Ground
Bollards restrict the entrance to your retail stores, but at times, you may need access to it. If your retail store has a parking or loading area which needs access at times, opt for removable bollards.
Put them in place to do their job and when needed, remove them easily to gain access to the area. These removable bollards are available in both: surface mount and below ground designs. We can also provide you with the storage sleeves and hangers to protect your bollards while keeping them upright.
#4 Bollards for Parking Protection
Some retail stores even need parking protection due to the nature of their business. The Parking Protection bollards will protect your space, exactly the way you want. They are available in different heights and finishes. You can even fold them down when not in use.
#5 Flexible Bollards
This range of bollards is lightweight and flexible. Still, they offer a visual deterrent to vehicles. An additional feature of flexible bollards involves reflective tape that offers maximum visibility. Made from high strength polyethylene plastic and PVC, these bollards work best if you wish to provide the security for both entryways as well as your parking space. Though, in case of long-term, choosing a fixed bollard will assist you with the desired safety for your storefront.
Make a Move towards Retail Security
Looking at the facts and figures of how the crime rate is increasing day-by-day, every retail store owner must make a conscious effort for safety measures. We hope we have helped you to make an informed decision to help prevent retail thefts.
Decide your bollard-type and number of bollards you need and then simply place your order from our website. You will get the bollards delivered to your doorstep.
There's good news for you - our bollards are currently available at discounted prices. Hurry Up! Make the most of this offer.
If you have more questions about bollards, you can click on this link and read this blog post or call us to discuss any questions you may have. We are available on 1300 049 246.