Laurel storefront

Robbery Prevention Tips for your Retail Store

There’s nothing quite as frightening as being held up in a robbery – especially an armed one.
They usually take place when there’s a lack of planning for emergency situations and when poor cash handling is involved, as many businesses unknowingly make criminal situations convenient for robbers. The good news is, a blend of technology and common sense can make robbery prevention a very real possibility!

It’s time to do your due diligence in preventing your store from being targeted by robbers and thieves. We’ve listed down some tips for enhancing security in your retail store which you may have overlooked.

General Measures

Laurel storefront

Keep your store’s interior, front and back entrances well-lit, but keep the sides and rear doors locked. This forces all store visitors to enter and exit from the same entrance. This way, nobody could sneak out unnoticed or barge out of your store with stolen goods and easily get away with it. Have an extra employee to keep an eye out when taking in products and shipments from the rear, and lock up when you’re done.

Ensure your alarms are in working order (you may want to have a silent alarm too in case of a daytime robbery) and notify the police if you receive any requests to keep your store open after your usual business hours. It may be a way for robbers to get you or your staff alone when other shops have closed for the night. Additionally, have more than one employee around to open and close the store; a lone cashier becomes easy prey for robbers because they know that one employee is likely the one who brings in or takes out money.

Making Bank Deposits

person counting money

Vary the time and routines when you make deposits every day, and carry cash in a container that isn’t an obvious moneybag. Essentially, you want to be as discreet with cash exposure as possible and have low amounts of cash on premises. 

When going to the bank, go in the daytime and definitely don’t go alone. Have someone with you and keep cash concealed inconspicuously in your clothes.

Discuss Robbery Scenarios with Staff

cat being robbed

Educate and inform your employees of a plan in the event of a robbery. Doing so encourages active responses that can make a huge difference during emergency situations. There are many resources on the internet around this topic that you can avail of and use for training about such situations and on how to use alarms. If a robbery does occur, everybody should remain calm, refrain from making sudden movements, and obey the robber’s instructions since the robber may be tense and/or under the influence of drugs.

Assign different roles to employees, such as having one to call the police, one to make observations about the robber(s), one to detain witnesses and one to protect evidence at the scene of the crime.

Active Response Training and Armed Citizens’ Network are two of the many useful resources, teaching people how to tackle emergency situations, such as a robbery.

Deterrents

security camera in store

Install CCTV cameras that face your front counter. This could work as a deterrent for robbers, but having surveillance cameras is also beneficial for capturing footage and possibly the identity of the robber.

Another deterrent to try is placing your cash register in a spot where it’s easily seen from outside (near a window), since passersby from the outside will be able see what’s going on.

Smarter Measures

POS system on table

A smarter and more discrete approach is to hide your cash drawer under a counter, away from public view. By concealing the cash drawer, robbers would have a harder time figuring out where to perform a hold-up.

This can work well with a layout of circular or square counters that lead to the store’s entrance or exit. It may be useful as an escape route for staff that encounter armed robberies. With such a layout, your staff may then be able to run around the perimeter of the counters and lock the entrance or exit door, trapping the robber(s) inside!

We hope you’ll benefit from these pointers and (hopefully) have already taken preventative measures in case of a robbery at your store. With many more tips available online, be sure to research what works best for your store size to keep crime away.

Stay safe and alert!