Video Surveillance for Department Stores
The primary goal of any department store's security system is loss prevention. The right video surveillance installation can go a long way in preventing theft and protecting a store's assets, while also providing safety for its customers and employees.
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Benefits of Surveillance Equipment for Retail Stores
Loss prevention – Retail theft and inventory shrinkage are a huge concern for departments stores. Security cameras help to cut down on losses by working as a deterrent, and by spotting suspicious activity as it happens. When an act of shoplifting is perceived on camera, security staffers can be quickly deployed to the scene.
Continuous surveillance – With cameras providing continuous surveillance coverage, department stores can be monitored and protected from break-ins and theft after working hours
Crime investigation – Recorded footage provided by department store surveillance cameras can prove extremely useful for investigations of crimes and for suspect identification.
Prevent employee theft – Employee theft is a common occurrence in the world of retail. In fact, it's an enormous problem. The presence of video surveillance cameras can deter such activity, and can capture visual evidence of workers in the act of stealing from their employers.
Provide customer service info – Customer service is a big deal for department stores which must provide a welcome atmosphere that will bring shoppers back again and again. A video surveillance system allows store managers to monitor employee behavior to make sure customers are being treated properly.
Monitor customer activity – Besides the obvious security benefits of monitoring for suspicious activity, surveillance cameras can also provide information that's helpful for store planning. For instance, the flow of customers can determine the store's interior layout, and the number of shoppers who enter the store at certain times throughout the day can dictate employee schedules.
Digital storage – Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) and Network Video Recorders (NVRs) allow surveillance footage to be stored digitally rather than on clunky cassette tapes, providing larger storage capacity and enhanced searching capabilities.
Remote monitoring – Using an IP surveillance system, cameras operate on a network and stream footage that can be viewed remotely from any PC with an internet connection and authorized network access. Some cameras, for instance IP domes (which are popular choices for department store surveillance), even have remote-controlled pan, title, and zoom functions.
Risks of Department Store Security Cameras
Privacy – While video surveillance in public areas throughout department stores is a widely accepted security measure, it's considered a potential breach of privacy to install cameras in areas such as employees break rooms, bathrooms, and dressing rooms.
Vandalism – In the event that a thief or employee tampers with a store surveillance camera, other security measures should be in place to make up for the lost signal.
Configuration of Retail Store Video Surveillance
Consider the following factors when determining what type of video surveillance system is required for a specific department store:
- Has shoplifting been a common problem for the store?
- Have there been a significant number of incidents involving employee theft?
- What is the store's yearly average in terms of inventory shrinkage?
- What sort of security systems are currently in place in the store?
- Are security staffers present in the store at all times?
- Have there been instances of crime and theft in the store's parking lot?
- What type of merchandise does the store sell?
- Are some areas of the store more likely to be targeted by thieves?
- How does the surrounding neighborhood affect the store's security, if at all?
- Situate cameras at all entrances and exits to the store in order to monitor the flow of customers and capture footage of all shoppers entering and leaving.
- Consider using ceiling-mounted dome cameras to provide comprehensive views of the sales floor and individual aisles.
- Position cameras near cash registers to monitor transactions, and to protect cahiers from robbery attempts and incidents involving inappropriate customer conduct.
- Install cameras in storage rooms and supply areas to help prevent employee theft.
- Use video surveillance to watch over parking lots and garages.
- Consider outfitting the store with cameras equipped with video analytics. Intelligent cameras use advanced software algorithms that can perceive suspicious behavior such as loitering, instances where objects are left behind, or where a significant amount of activity is taking place in a certain area.