Simple Steps to Deter Theft and Robbery in Your Convenience Store
A significant risk for all business owners is product theft and robbery. In 2019, the National Retail Foundation estimated the cost of inventory shrink (or shoplifting) as $46.8 billion for the entire US retail industry. In 2007, Arizona State University released a study on convenience store crimes and reported that c-store robberies account for 6% of all robberies known to the police. Not only do these crimes result in financial losses, but they also affect employee’s morale or even result in long-term traumatic mental conditions.
What’s the number one way to deter theft and robbery in your convenience store?
Make eye contact with every individual entering the store. Simply by authentically greeting each customer and looking them in the eye, the chances they will commit a crime, reduce substantially. This simple action lets the potential perpetrator know you’ve seen them and can identify them later to the police–something criminals want to avoid.
The type of greeting matters, too. Suppose your employees are just sharing a lackluster “welcome to our store” to every person that enters. In that case, it will appear as if the employees aren’t paying attention and care little about the security of the business. On the other hand, by emoting an authentic welcome, complimenting hats or articles of clothing, saying hello to small children, asking about a customer’s day, etc., perpetrators will feel identified by confident employees who know their jobs well.
What other simple steps to deter theft in your c-Store
There are many solutions designed to help you deter theft and robbery in your convenience store. Our staff can help you understand all your options and implement the right solutions for your business.
- Install a video surveillance system. Install cameras in the interior and exterior of your building, with some focused on eye-level captures while others get wide screenshots of the parking lot. By placing a surveillance monitoring terminal where customers can see it easily (such as behind the checkout counter near the doorway), potential perpetrators will know their images will be captured and are less likely to steal.
- Install panic buttons. Employees will feel more confident knowing a security system in place, and the police can be summoned quickly with easy-to-reach panic buttons at the front counter and back-office areas.
- Strategically plan store layout. Arrange your displays and aisles so customers can be easily seen from the checkout counter or via reflective mirrors. Place displays holding commonly stolen items such as razors, razor blades, OTC medications, cosmetics, and batteries near the front counter.
- Communicate your prosecution policy and cash on hand procedures. Using door signage to tell patrons you prosecute all shoplifters and perform frequent cash drops will increase the risk while lowering the rewards for perpetrators.
What should your team members do in the event a theft or robbery occurs?
The number one priority of all employees is to keep themselves and their customers safe. Product or money can be replaced, but human lives cannot.
If the c-store is robbed or an employee witnesses shoplifting, it’s better to take quick notes of the criminal’s height, weight, eye color, hair color, clothing, and direction of escape to provide to the police than to try to stop or chase down the perpetrator. In robbery situations, employees should immediately lock the front door when the perpetrator exits and encourage all patrons to stay in the store until police arrive on site. Of course, employees should administer first-aid to anyone who was injured during the event. Employees should never chase, tackle, fight or attempt to apprehend anyone.
Want to learn more about reducing risks associated with operating your convenience store?
Our professional team at GP Energy has the knowledge and experience to help you set up your business for success. We work with business owners throughout the Pacific Northwest to develop successful strategies for operating, managing, growing, and acquiring businesses. Give us a call today and get our team started towards helping you accelerate your company’s growth.,