The holidays might be known as the most wonderful time of the year, but for retail business owners they can also be some of the most stressful and hectic! In 2021, all five out of the five busiest shopping days of the year in Canada fell in November and December, and all were dates between Black Friday and Boxing Day. And with the average retailer making almost 20% of their entire yearly sales during this season, it’s safe to say that the stakes are high and there’s little room for oversights. Having a security plan in place specifically designed for the holiday shopping rush is one of the best safeguards you can have, as this time of year comes with a unique set of challenges.
Holiday Shopping and Safety
If you’ve ever gone out to a mall on Black Friday or Super Saturday, you’re definitely familiar with just how chaotic the post-Thanksgiving shopping scene can be. All the hustle and bustle really adds up when you look at the numbers; in Accenture’s 2021 Holiday Shopping Report, 75% of Canadian consumers surveyed reported that they planned on doing holiday gift shopping in-store at some point in December. It’s nearly impossible to operate without a heightened proper security plan in place for the annual shopping rush. The major increase in volume paired with other unique factors, like product availability limits and seasonal markdowns, can create a perfect storm for something to go wrong, such as overcrowding and shoplifting as well as the following threats.
Criminals will often take advantage of the large crowds and increased foot traffic during the holiday shopping rush, but not just to commit retail theft. They also target consumers caught up in the frenzy of holiday shopping.
- ORC (Organised Retail Crime)
Since this type of theft is typically not as common in other seasons, Organised Retail Crime is a unique threat that businesses have to strategize against during the holidays. Seasonal shipments of higher-priced items, luxury goods, and specialty items that are in high demand (like new video game consoles) make retail businesses prime targets for groups of professional thieves looking to turn a profit reselling stolen goods.
- Staffing Issues
Even if your staff has been briefed on loss prevention, the large crowds and increased foot traffic of a holiday shopping rush make it all too easy for a potential threat to slip through the cracks. Most retail associate employees also do not typically have the training necessary for engaging with potentially dangerous individuals like shoplifters, making sites without visible security personnel easy targets.
- Internal Theft
The NRF estimates that employee theft accounts for over 33% of shrinkage yearly, and that number only goes up during the holiday season. This can be attributed to a combination of factors, like less-committed temporary staff and the season’s most sought-after products being in stock. But a trained security professional on your team can effectively monitor the internal operations of your business without sacrificing any focus on the sales floor.
How A Retail Security Guard Can Benefit Your Team During the Holiday Shopping Season
When you employ the help of a professional retail security guard, you’re not just ensuring the safety of your assets and clients. You also ensure the comfort and satisfaction of you and your team. Our CE Security guards are extensively trained and have all the skills needed to handle everything security-related at your store. This allows you and your team to focus on what really matters to you.
Instead of wasting time and energy on issues that are hard to tackle on your own. like loss prevention and inventory shrinkage, leave this to the pros. Even just the presence of a uniformed guard on site can boost your team’s morale. It also helps to reduce anxiety during a time that may otherwise be intense and demanding. Knowing that there’s someone in the workplace protecting and looking out for them can put your employees more at ease. This can give them a little peace of mind during the most hectic season of the year.
FAQs about Hiring Security for the Winter Shopping Season in Canada
Are plain clothes security agents an option to consider?
Absolutely! The presence of a uniformed guard is always helpful. However, plainclothes security officers can be an especially useful resource for the holiday shopping season. Plainclothes agents can easily blend in with other customers and effectively surveil the perimeter without arousing suspicion of being watched from those who may be considering committing a crime. CE Security offers plainclothes security options, so reach out to learn more.
What’s the process like for adding security to my store?
Since every property is unique, the first step in integrating security agents into your team is usually a general consultation and assessment of your business’s needs. At CE Security, our teams not only help you determine your main areas of concern, but also involve you every step of the way. You can feel confident in choosing the best routes to address your unique concerns. The holiday shopping season can be a challenging time for even the most experienced business owners, but you don’t have to face it on your own. Our teams at CE Security are here to help you navigate the busiest time of the year no matter what your business is dealing with, so don’t hesitate to reach out for a free quote today!