The holidays are upon us and Black Friday is just a couple short weeks away. For some of our customers this year has been rough for robberies, some have been out-right dangerous. This blog post is a compilation of information from our customers, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, Jeweler’s Mutual, and tips I have gathered from some security companies.
Tony Gallo, Senior Director for Sapphire Protection LCC said something similar about making sure you are proactive with your preparedness for thieves. Gallo, previously the Director of Loss Prevention and Safety for EZCorp with over 30 years of experience says, “Times of financial stress often drive individuals who normally would not consider shoplifting…”
Many security companies recommend that you test your security systems regularly and create a written security plan that you share with your employees. Being proactive vs. reactive can make all the difference in business, especially in retail. In the jewelry and pawn industries, security can mean the difference between $1,000 in goods stolen vs. $100,000 in goods stolen. $100,000 in goods stolen can be enough to put some stores out of business. With the increase in inventory during this time of year, it is important that proper security measures are taken and shared with your entire staff. Gallo says, “The #1 thing to do is to be aware of your surroundings”.
Take a look at these tips to help you plan for the 2013 holiday season.
What can owners and managers do to keep themselves and their employees safe?
- Walk in pairs and never open or lock-up alone
- “When opening and closing the store, an associate should always be looking for any unusual activities in the parking lot.”—Tony Gallo
- Let family members know where you are
- Keep an eye on your rearview mirror as you could be followed home
- Don’t take the same route home every time
- Consider taking a safety course (Self Defense, Gun, and Taser)
- “Check your building before entering the store to see if there are any signs of a break in. Robbers have been known to break into a store without setting off the alarm system and wait for the associates to enter in the morning.”—Tony Gallo
- Consider hiring a security guard for the holiday season
- “Train new and seasonal staff properly on your safety and security measures”—Tony Gallo
- “Methodically follow your store security policies and procedures to the “letter of the law” and do not deviate.”—Tony Gallo
What can jewelry store and pawnshop owners do to protect their inventory and assets?
- Put expensive items, especially jewelry, in a safe at night
- Make sure that holiday displays are not blocking cameras
- Only take out one piece of jewelry at a time to show customers
- Secure outside store displays
- Hire a security guard to stand by the door
- Never turn your back on an item you took out of the case
- Ask another staff member to watch the item if you have to go get something (this may help in the sales process as well)
- “Make more frequent cash deposits to reduce risk”—Tony Gallo
- “Don’t unlock doors until money and jewelry have been secured”—Tony Gallo
- Have your safes in the center of the room or on an interior wall
- Install cameras and make sure they work in the dark
- Make sure your motion sensors are picking up movement in the store
- Regularly change your computer system passwords
- Check to make sure that your computer files are backing up properly
- Inventory your physical and electronic documents
What is an example of a good robbery prevention program?
· “Good customer service and attention to detail is the #1 piece to a robbery prevention program”—Tony Gallo
o Greeting every customer when they come in the door doesn’t just help with sales, but it also helps with acknowledging a potential thief. Robbers don’t want to be acknowledged.
o The greeting gives you an opportunity to identify what the customer looks like and to have a conversation
· “Proper lighting in and outside the store, a good working safe, an alarm and camera system that communicates to the possible thief that it is not worth stealing from this shop is key to preventing losses.”—Tony Gallo
o Regularly check your security system to make sure everything is working properly and cameras are aimed in the right places and not at walls.
o Put together a monthly detailed security checklist for your store manager
o Have a shorter daily checklist for those working that day
· Have a code phrase to warn staff if something is off—New York Times Article
- Recorded Webinars (including “Hints for a Happy Holiday Season”) - http://jewelersmutual.com/Business-Jewelry-Insurance/Safety-and-Security/Safety-Security-Webinars.aspx
- Security Guides for Retail and Non-Retail Jewelry Businesses - http://jewelersmutual.com/Business-Jewelry-Insurance/Safety-and-Security/Collateral
Jeweler’s Security Alliance
Jewelers’ Security Alliance is leading the war on jewelry crime since 1883. They regularly update their members on crimes happening and provide tips like “How to Spot a Potential Jewelry Thief, And What Should a Jeweler Do?”