Retail is an ever fluctuating industry, therefore security needs and demands are constantly changing. Fortunately, security technology is evolving quickly to meet these requirements. Providers of security solutions such as SECOM understand that every business is unique. This therefore makes tailored retail security a major priority, but how can retailers know what security solutions are right for their business? Here are the key factors to take into consideration.



As a retailer, the location of your business is likely to be imperative to your success, as you need to be where your target market is. If you are convenience store, you need to be local and if you are department store, you need to be central. Broadly speaking, you need to be in an area or community where you know your products will sell. It’s important to consider that where you locate your business will directly affect your security.

Crime is hard to avoid, no matter where you are. Naturally there are both safe and dangerous areas, with an extensive variability in between. When we say that location will affect your security, this is mainly referring to the type of security threats you will face rather than how often you will have to face a security threat.

Large inner-city retailers are more likely to face small shoplifting crimes, but on a regular basis. This calls for megapixel CCTV surveillance with integrated video analytics. This system can make sense of suspicious behaviour, even in crowded situations. The system can trigger alarms to a central command centre and the appropriate actions can be taken by the authorities. With crystal clear images, you will also have evidence as part of your armoury.

Retailers that are based in remote or rural areas are more likely to face problems with out-of-hours intruders that are attempting to steal products in larger quantities. Remote locations mean that suspects can simply disappear into a crowd. Making a calculated break in with a get-away vehicle is much more likely. However, an intelligent intruder alarm with visual verification can both alert the authorities and capture crucial video evidence.


The size of your business plays a crucial role in how you secure your premises. Most security solutions are scalable to suit size, but as a retailer it is important to consider the main priorities. As an example, smaller businesses are likely to need a very different combination of security measures. These smaller businesses are likely to need reliable CCTV, intelligent intruder alarms, the appropriate physical security and a basic level of access security.

If you operate a small business, you are unlikely to want your customers to feel they are attempting to enter Fort Knox. This calls for security measures that don’t alter the atmosphere of your premises and damage the representation of your brand. There are plenty of discreet solutions to suit, such as dome and bullet CCTV cameras and simple pin, FOB or card access control. A large scale visitor management system, integrated video analytics and visually verified intruder alarms may be overkill in terms of small business security.

On the other hand, businesses operating at a large premises have an entirely different set of challenges. For a start, a large building will require an increased amount of access control as there is likely to be a number of different restricted areas. This will call for an intelligent system that does not just simply rely on a key or fob – such as video door entry. With more entrances and exits too, intruder alarm systems also need to meet the demands of a large retailer. Employees, deliveries and cleaners are likely to be passing through the doors frequently. So, there needs to be an intelligent intruder system that can quickly and efficiently discern between authorised personnel and unwelcome visitors.

In terms of CCTV, large retailers can really benefit from an end-to-end to surveillance systems. Megapixel cameras can be the eyes in the sky for businesses that struggle to monitor all areas of their premises at all times. Accompanied with video analytics, room for human error is significantly reduced. Video analytics can quickly and efficiently identify suspicious behaviour and automatically alert the relevant authorities. For retailers running a large premises, you need to ensure that criminals have no-where to hide.


The products you sell are a huge determining factor in the type of security solutions you will need. Your stock is crucial to your success, which makes high quality security an absolute must. For example, a business selling large electronic equipment will undoubtedly require different security solutions than a business stocking second-hand clothes. This does not mean that one requires less security than the other – merely a different combination of solutions. At the end of the day, any stock loss is money that is being taken directly out of your business.

High to mid-value products are likely to be kept in large stock rooms and warehouses with tight access and intruder controls. These are the businesses that are targeted in a calculated and deliberate way, typically out-of-hours. This therefore calls for a combination of impenetrable physical security and access control systems that cannot be manipulated or opened using a stolen or replicated key.  Intruder alarms integrated with video analytics will help to call for immediate response and record valuable evidence.

Low value products in large quantities are still likely to attract unwanted attention from criminals. However, these types of thefts are more likely to be based on opportunity. Products that can be easily and subtly slipped into a bags and under coats will be the focus of light-fingered thieves. If your premises makes this kind of theft easy to achieve, your business is likely to experience losses even more significant than that of high to mid-value retailers. These businesses require the sharp eye of a surveillance system in order to stem the majority of product loss.


If you are still unsure what security is right for your retail business, why not download our eBook ‘How the latest technology in retail security can empower you.’