The surge in retail crime
In recent years, a concerning rise in theft and other crimes has affected retailers globally. Consequently, inventory shrink – often a result of theft – has become an increasingly severe issue impacting numerous businesses.
Several large international retailers pointed to elevated shrink as the underlying reason for adjusting their profit expectations and reporting lower margins during their earnings announcements earlier this year.
The pressure these businesses face stems not from a single, isolated factor but from a combination of various challenges.
Economic turbulence contributing to rising thefts
As the global economy experiences marked turbulence, this economic instability often correlates with a surge in thefts. This economic strain, in turn, fuels global inflation, leading to increased purchasing costs for retailers. As a result, consumers are burdened with steeper prices.
Staffing shortages in retail outlets further exacerbate the challenges these businesses face by reducing surveillance, delaying responses to security incidents, impacting customer service, increasing employee stress, and ultimately, creating a more vulnerable retail environment.
The combination of all these factors results in a heightened risk environment for retailers. Store personnel often bear the brunt, facing threats, abuse, and, in severe cases, violence. The increase in violence-related robberies is a trend Securitas has witnessed in recent years, which underscores the pressing need for trained security personnel to handle these situations.
Organized retail crime and the need for enhanced security
Another mounting concern in the retail industry is the growth of organized retail crime (ORC). Though it has plagued retailers for many years, ORC incidents are on the rise.
Retailers reported these incidents increased 26.5 percent in 2021. Various factors – including the expansion of online marketplaces, the pandemic, changes in policing, and more – have contributed to the uptick, according to the National Retail Federation.
Most retailers (80 percent) also reported that violence and aggression associated with ORC incidents increased year-over-year.
The growing severity of such crimes serves as a stark reminder of the ever-evolving landscape of retail security challenges, emphasizing the necessity for enhanced security solutions.
A tailored approach: Modern retail security solutions
Driven by the unique challenges they’re facing, retailers are exploring a range of products, services, and solutions to enhance their security. Whether it's a small neighborhood store, a bustling shopping mall, or an upscale boutique, retailers are seeking customized security solutions that align with their unique requirements.
The key is to implement a proactive approach to security. Rather than merely reacting to security incidents, retailers should prioritize real-time monitoring. A comprehensive strategy that combines both remote security as well as on-site security services allows for more rapid identification and response to retail theft and other security threats.
A compelling example of this proactive security approach comes from Securitas Sweden, whose Security Support Service plays a crucial role in enhancing retail security, demonstrating the benefits of close collaboration with clients to develop tailored security solutions.
Retail chains that engage with this service enjoy the flexibility of having personnel specifically trained to meet their individual needs. These specialists receive comprehensive training to help ensure quick and efficient responses in emergencies.
An essential element of this collaborative approach is the provision of alarm buttons for retailers, facilitating immediate communication between Securitas and the retail chains. The robust partnership between Securitas and retailers is central to helping to create a safer retail environment.
The officers are not only security experts; they also excel in areas such as crisis management, advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), fire prevention, and handling various emergencies, positioning themselves as the first line of defense against potential threats.
To maintain and improve service quality, Securitas employs digital reporting tools to assess and enhance operational efficiency, prioritizing feedback to refine these offerings.
Given the ever-changing landscape in the retail industry, leveraging a combination of people and technology-driven security measures has never been more vital.
As retail security demands evolve, Securitas is dedicated to staying ahead to safeguard what’s most important to you.