20 Nov 2017

Controlling Access in a Retail Environment

As we're quickly approaching the holiday season, retailers are officially in full preparation mode: stocking, staffing and extending hours to serve the rush of customers shopping day and night for new attire and gifts. This influx of business also brings with it an increased risk for threats, as larger groups of people throughout a store at any given time can make comprehensive security a difficult task.

The multi-layered issues that the retail industry already faces on a daily basis, such as shrink, internal theft and spurious slip-and-fall claims, are accentuated during this time, requiring increased protection and security measures. Each retailer also differs in size and luxury, necessitating flexible and scalable security solutions.

Throughout the year and especially during the holiday season, retailers should look at incorporating an integrated access control and video management system to help mitigate threats and keep employees, customers and assets safe. Access control technology can be used to monitor every entrance and exit of a store, including staff entrances, which need to be controlled by an authentication system, such as card readers. A robust access control system can also log activities at these points, creating a report of intrusion or access attempts.

The value of access control technology can be heightened through the integration of video surveillance, as more retailers require multiple systems working together to gain a complete view of any particular situation. High-resolution video alone is often needed to protect a retailer, such as in the instance of a slip-and-fall claim, and when incorporated with access control, the advantages are numerous.

Furthermore, an integrated access control and video management system can track activity at all times, and even alert security officials to suspicious behavior or a potential threat. This collaboration also provides law enforcement with assistance in theft investigations, both internal and external.

Remote access to access control technology and video data is another essential feature. When stores leverage platforms that combine the capabilities of video surveillance and access control solutions, operators can associate video of specific egress points, and they gain the ability to open, close, lock and unlock doors from a remote location, reducing travel time to various stores.

The holiday season is a joyous time but it can also be stressful — no one knows that better than the loss prevention teams within the retail sector. But through effective preparation, protection and technology, retailers can not only save time and money, but also efficiently safeguard all people and products within the facility.