The holiday season is synonymous with many things: festivities, family gatherings, and gifts. Yet for retailers, it’s more than just about spreading holiday cheer – it’s the make or break season for annual sales, where the stakes (and losses due to theft) are astronomically high.
In this first of a 3-part series, we’ll examine the unique challenges confronting retailers, from sprawling shopping malls to standalone stores, to help underscore why maintaining a 24/7 proactive security presence is more than just a luxury– it’s a necessity.
Why are the stakes so high for retailers during this holiday season?
- Financial Implications: The holiday season is monumental for retailers. The National Retail Federation highlights that many pocket a staggering 20-30% of their annual sales during November and December alone. In this high-pressure scenario, even minor disruptions or thefts can significantly dent the financial trajectory.
- Reputation at Risk: In our always-on digital era, news travels at lightning speed. A single negative incident can quickly spiral into a PR nightmare, deterring potential customers and casting long shadows on both current and future sales.
- Safety of Staff and Customers: With increased crowds and the potential for chaotic shopping scenarios (think Black Friday), ensuring the safety and well-being of both staff and customers is paramount. Incidents can not only lead to potential legal action but can also diminish trust in a business.
- Operational Efficiency: The holiday season is the ultimate stress-test for operational integrity. Efficient crowd management, smooth operations, and effective theft prevention not only set the tone and tempo for the upcoming year, but influence profits, customer loyalty, and overall standing in the market.
EyeQ’s Advanced Live Video Monitoring: A Proven Game-Changer
- EyeQ leverages military-grade AI and video analytics to turn cameras into proactive Virtual Guards. Our systems not only detect but also respond, with agents from the Surveillance Operations Center (SOC) taking charge when incidents arise.
- 24/7 Proactive Deterrence: The mere presence of surveillance cameras act as significant deterrents for potential criminals. Knowing that they are being watched in real-time reduces the likelihood of theft or vandalism.
- Real-time Threat Response: AI-powered video monitoring empowers timely interventions, be it addressing culprits through live Audio Voice Down, or using Video Verification to verify incidents and dispatch local authorities directly to the scene in seconds.
- Evidence Gathering: In the unfortunate event of an incident, having high-quality video evidence is invaluable. It aids in investigations, insurance claims, and can be crucial in legal scenarios.
- Operational Insights: Beyond just security, live video monitoring can offer insights into customer behaviors, choke points in store layouts, and areas of improvement for staff – all of which can help in enhancing operational efficiency during the rush.
- Reduced Costs: EyeQ’s integration of human automation slashes expenses related to manpower and traditional security services.
Statistics that underscore the importance:
- Rising Industry Losses: The National Retail Federation National Retail Security Survey reported that internal and external theft resulted in nearly two-thirds of retailers’ shrink. The cost to retailers was a staggering $112.1 billion in industry losses in 2022, a significant increase from $93.9 billion in 2021.
- Aggressive Shoplifters: A 2023 survey involving 117 retail brands revealed concerning trends:
- 88% of respondents indicated that shoplifters have become more aggressive and violent compared to the previous year.
- When it comes to organized retail crime (ORC), 67% noted that perpetrators are exhibiting increased violence and aggression, building on the elevated levels observed in prior years.
- Shoplifting Concerns: According to research by Capital One Shopping, shoplifting rates surged by 19.4% year-over-year. Alarmingly, the average shoplifter was apprehended merely once out of every 100 incidents.
- The holiday season, while festive and profitable, comes with its own set of challenges. Businesses must recognize the elevated stakes during this period. Losses in sales, reputation, or through theft can have ramifications that extend far beyond the season. In this context, on-site security, and especially live video monitoring, is not just a protective measure but an essential tool in ensuring business continuity, safety, and success.
Read Part 2 of this series, where we delve into what’s at stake for automotive dealerships, here.