20/11/2012 06:33 GMT | Updated 19/01/2013 05:12 GMT

Keeping Your Retail Business Secure Over Xmas

As soon as November comes around, the retail industry starts its campaign to get you through their doors as the countdown to Christmas begins. Before you know it, every store you enter will be playing Cliff Richard, Paul McCartney and you'll be humming Last Christmas without being aware that you're doing it. It's all part of the fun of the holiday season.

What isn't fun is the knowledge that the Christmas period is also the time of the year that intruders and thieves get their kicks. They stand to make a killing in the holiday season from your hard-earned goods, as they believe that the eggnog and turkey will have you a little lazy in your security measures. It's important for homes and retail stores to be more vigilant than ever during this busy period in all our lives. A pretty interesting blog post by security product manufacturer highlights some other great ways to secure a shop over Xmas. Retail owners should give it a read.

Checking Over Your Security Systems

The security systems in your retail operation should always be of the highest possible quality and standard that your budget can afford. It will save you a great deal of cash in the long run when you need to replace windows or items that have been stolen. During the Xmas period, your CCTV and alarms could be tested more than ever, so giving them an upgrade or asking a security expert to come and check them could be highly beneficial. Knowing where to station your monitor and where to position your cameras are sometimes best left to the experts. You don't want to miss something that an expert wouldn't.

Shopping centre retail stores often come together and share the cost of security products across the board. This is a great way of showing care for the community and your industry, as well as showing a unified front to the criminals of the area: "Thou shalt not pass!"

The likelihood is that the majority of retail operations will see an increase in business and profits between November and January, with that late December splurge being the busiest time. This is where it is so important to have procedures in place for safe cash handling, keeping money and any other documents safe and secure and ensuring nothing is kept on site after hours. A good safe with a password lock that only a handful of people can operate is a good idea during opening hours.

Protecting Your Goods and Your Workforce

If your stock room is on the ground floor, it makes sense to block the windows to stop visibility and perhaps add bars or grilles. Adding bollards and posts to your parking areas is also a good idea. If they are removable posts, this enables you to decide who can park around your store and who can't. You will have complete control over the access areas.

When it comes to a shopping centre, the majority of them will have their own security staff, but a shutter or reinforced glass on the windows are always good investments. After all, Christmas only lasts for a short while. Security should be for life, not just for Xmas!

Retailers should always be prepared for the huge increase in traffic through their doors, and the potential troubles that it brings. Employing extra staff will likely put off any thieves and shoplifters, and give the extra customers the care and attention they need to ensure that customer service is kept to a high as well as the security.

With the increase in customers, it also means that it is a good idea to check that your fire procedures are in place and that alarms and exits are clear and in good working order. These should be checked before the rush begins so you know that you will be able to deal with the situation if there should be a fire at any point during the holidays.

This guide gives you a simple overview of what you need to be aware of and the measures you can take to deter thieves and intruders. But the responsibility lies solely with the retail owners, and it is their duty to give customers and their workforce the best Christmas experience ever by being safe and secure and on top of everything. The holidays come but once a year, but good security should be year-round!