Never more than in the current climate of spending is the pressure to spend money greater, from businesses to parents and right throughout society – ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, yet often wage increases are left far behind inflation rates.
And with widespread economic hardship, there’s invariably a spike in retail theft for either necessity or pleasure. Whether it’s a desperate parent who has to get their hands on the latest must-have toy or a pensioner after some basic staple they can’t afford, sadly retail crime is rife, present and can cost the industry a fortune.
When you hear the term ‘security guard’ then quite often the mental image appears of someone in a police-like uniform chasing light-fingered schoolchildren.
It’s clear that retail security is about far more than apprehending the light-fingered and chasing school kids around the shop floor. In reality the role simply isn’t that straight-forward.
There needs to be an element of compassion and understanding. After all, you’re not dealing with vicious criminals, rather individuals driven to extreme actions of which they’re probably ashamed.
An ability to give good customer service is a vital part of the retail security guard’s skillset, and it should be deployed firmly and fairly. Gone are the days of grabbing people by the scruff of their collars or clipping them around the ear, now ‘people skills’ are an absolute must when dealing with the public and often in a close, first-hand proximity.
Value for Money
But retail security isn’t all about sob stories and shoplifting. The in-store security guard must be able to deal with a range of unexpected situations, through medical emergencies and accidents, to bomb scares and evacuations. Whilst these things are rare, they’re part and parcel of the modern world and must be dealt with efficiently. And quite often the security guard being the ‘man on the floor’ and physically being there, they need to be trained legally and mentally suitable to deal with the role at hand.
The security guard is often the first responder to an unexpected event in a crowded retail environment. So for this form of security there’s no hobnail boots and leash-straining dogs, but a need for a human disposition, patience, charm and humour.
It also helps if they’re calm and can exude confidence; it doesn’t look good if the security guard’s first out of the door when something bad happens!
For working in public environments, it is important that security guards are fully trained and up-to-date on their skills. Often local companies reputation precedes them, which is a good indication of the standards of their security services. It is best to go to a professional supplier who thoroughly checks the individuals employed. Retail security officers should be carefully vetted and properly insured. This means they can provide the flexible, adaptable service that the industry requires.
For further information on our retail security services, contact Hallmark Security today and we can discuss your individual business needs, requirements and expectations.