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Loss Prevention, Retail, Technology Integration, computer vision

It’s Time To Address New Retail Security Challenges: Here’s How

Mike Korcuba
05 September, 2023
by Mike Korcuba

Suspicious individual casing a retail storeViolence in retail is surging. According to a study from the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Criminology, 2022 marked the most violent year ever in U.S. retail stores, with a jaw-dropping 694 violent fatalities. That’s an increase of 17% over 2021. Trends like this one have disturbed shoppers and retailers alike. The decision of whether to shop in stores or remotely is now not only a matter of consumer preference, but of safety.

The impact on retail is reduced foot traffic in stores, increased employee turnover, in addition to brand damage and distrust. The dramatic increase in violence has forced retail security to the top of the priority list for retail loss prevention and asset protection (LP/AP) teams.

It’s no surprise that advanced technologies are coming to the rescue in retail asset protection teams' efforts to combat violence. The time to address violence in your store is now. Here are some ways technology can help achieve greater retail security.

Fuel retail security with real-time information

In the case of violent incidents, real-time information is critical to more quickly and successfully prevent escalation and deaths. Real-time video provides insights into the situation. Many retailers are setting up security operations centers (SOCs) to instantly provide leaders and law enforcement with access to live footage from video cameras and other systems so that they can react with greater speed and effectiveness. For the SOC to deliver value in real time, it’s important to ensure remote access to live video and data from access control, intrusion and perimeter security systems.

Deter crime in retail stores

A variety of new technologies are available to help deter crime before it occurs. Some help prevent incidents that may have otherwise escalated to violence. Others challenge would-be perpetrators with clear signals that the site is well protected and complete with proactive security measures. As an example, self-locking carts can stop pushouts automatically, possibly preventing employees from chasing down thieves. Body-worn cameras help protect employees by reminding guests that their interactions are being recorded. Personal duress or panic buttons can support employees with instant access to assistance in case of a situation that may turn violent. These preventive technologies can help deter violence, preventing it before it takes place.

Unify physical security systems to maximize value

The power of unified security platforms offers exponential benefit over stand-alone systems. The consolidation of data from multiple systems in real time delivers information in context and empowers your SOC and law enforcement community. The power of unified, cloud-based platforms is also in the system’s ability to self-monitor - and even self-heal - failing equipment. Video cameras that fail to capture video are useless and must be repaired or replaced quickly. Open architecture platforms allow retailers to maximize the value of existing physical security technologies by integrating them with the system as a whole.

Get smarter

Thanks to advances in AI, LP/AP teams can stay one step ahead of the game with smart technologies that identify problems before they escalate. For example, facial recognition technologies can alert personnel if an individual with a violent criminal record enters the store or if someone with a gun is detected in the store. Shelf-sweep detection can also help identify perpetrators of ORC before losses mount. AI and computer vision are powerful tools in the fight for greater retail security.

As you develop strategies to combat violence and loss in retail, reach out to me at mkorcuba@telaid.com if you have questions about unified security solutions. We should all work together to reduce damage to people, property and assets in retail.

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