4 Tips on Retail Store Security Within

Poundland are 99p Stores' closest rival and co...

By Joseph Praba

I alluded in my earlier post, 4 Points to Remember in Retail Confidentiality, that the concept of keeping certain things strictly in the hands of select few employees was a very wise and logical thing to do.

I can think of many ‘trust-related’ mishaps that can arise from overlooking a simple matter like key holder accountability. Suffice to say something as trivial as main store door key, can and will cause undue inconvenience to your operations when neglected.

With that in mind, I urge you to uphold your Company policy that deals with access to your business privy matters. Think of all the direct and indirect relations that link to inventory, equipment, database, sales collections and so forth. Then, set about installing the policy compliance as strictly as you can – where necessary.

To help point you in the right way (although, I believe you already know these), here are 4 ways to make sure that access to your retail stores are well controlled.

Tip 1: Authority Allocation – Access Key and Alarm Codes

When working with access keys and alarm codes etc. please insist, that you have two or four separate persons responsible for:

  • Arming/Disarming of security alarm
  • Bearer of Safe Key and Deposit Safe Dial Combination (s)

I recommend the following appointments:



Main Shutter/Door Keys

Manager and Supervisor

Safe Combination

Assist. Manager and Senior Staff A

Security Alarm Arm & Disarm Codes

Manager and Supervisor

Safe Key

Assist. Manager and Senior Staff A

Note: A standard guide = make sure that the main shutter/door key holder does not know the store’s security arming/disarming codes and the safe combination bearer has no access to the safe key. This gives complete anonymity and safeguards everyone.

Tip 2: Bearer Responsibility and Compliance

An authorised person is reliable, mature, trustworthy and punctual. Everyone depends on them; especially their immediate working colleagues for this crucial role and purpose.

You must also drill unto them, that trust and maintaining confidentiality is utmost important. Prohibit every authorised person in your store, who is responsible for the store access keys, alarm arming/disarming codes and safe locking mechanisms from revealing or duplicating the itinerary in their possession for any means whatsoever.

Reiterate to them that the Company holds this matter as high security compliance and emphasize stern disciplinary actions for non-adherence to this policy.

Tip 3: Record Keeping and Maintenance

By policy, instruct all stores to send copies of keys to the main shutter, back office and any/all other access points and lockable units, together with alarm arming/disarming codes and safe combination to Head or Regional Office for record and back-up.

Having all back-up keys and access codes to your stores in a centralized location enables you to respond quickly in an emergency – such as, in an event when one store authorised person is unable to arrive at the designated store to do those opening duties.

Ideally in such a scenario, you get hold of the second store person holding that given authority to resolve the issue. Hence the need to have two separate authorised persons as mentioned in point 1 earlier.

Nonetheless, should the second authorised person is also unavailable, then you revert to the back-up access keys & codes that are held in record in HQ or Regional Office. I recommend this as a last resort by the way. Most times, the 2nd authorised person would’ve come to the rescue.

Note: Insist on a written explanation from your Store Manager for the said incident and ask for supporting proof (if any) to substantiate the explanation – make a fuss!

Tip 4: Safe Combination and Security Alarm Code Maintenance

Urge all your stores to change their respective store’s alarm codes & safe combinations every 6 months and send the new details for back-up and record keeping to Head/Regional Office.

It is also wise that your stores change the safe combination and security alarm codes immediately when the existing authorised person(s) resigns from employment or he/she scheduled for transfer to another store or department.

Make sure that your store manager does this within the stipulated time and that you receive the new ‘security’ details from the related store/department for your back-up and record keeping.

Also, please see that while in the resignation notice period and/or awaiting reassignment/transfer, the ex-authorized person concerned has relinquished his/her ‘authorised person’ responsibility.

Appoint a new candidate on his/her stead instantly without delay.


The 4 points related here are basic elements that any retail store in any market should heed upon. Obviously, we link these control measures to security; and more so when your business is selling high-end products like fine watches, jewelry and designer brands.

Thus, safeguard your precious inventory and do not allow them to be compromised so easily from within. The aim, as you aptly establish selective trust and authority within your ranks,  is that your store operations automatically become secure from inside as well.

However, we commonly neglect these simple controls that which eventually lead to undesired ‘breach of trust’ incidences. Therefore I recommend all retailers to take them seriously and see to it that your employees pay attention and comply.

Keep in mind, when it comes to your business, it’s wise to be able to retrace and track all movements. Furthermore, let everyone know that you are watching closely too. By insisting on diligence, doing constant checks and asking for updates, you deter complacency and cut internal breach.


I welcome feedback, comments and new ideas on retail operations. Feel free to leave your comments below. I also write procedure manuals for clients. If you need one published for your company. Contact me here.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About Joe Praba

Retail Ops Specialist; Procedures Manual Writer; Compulsive Reader; Metal Music Maniac; Supports Tottenham Hotspur and Rafael Nadal.

Tell me what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 35 other followers

%d bloggers like this: