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6 Security Threats in the Retail Industry You Should Know

6 Security Threats in the Retail Industry You Should Know

6 Security Threats in the Retail Industry You Should Know

A shopping centre might not be a place where one expects themselves to be in danger. Yet, these threats lurk under our radar as we go along our daily routines and usual lives. However, it is a different story for store owners and security officers on the ground. With a constant stream of people coming in and out, day in and day out, there are many chances for things to go wrong, making it hard to keep their bottom line safe and secure, especially when  there can be troublemakers (like shoplifters) with ill intent around.

While security officers are trained to be aware of various risks and the types of incidents to be aware of, it is still good for store owners or even the general public to be aware of such to stay protected and safe from them, such as those listed below.

1. Shoplifting 

Shoplifting incidents cost businesses a great deal of money, and it’s more so for small businesses. Shopping malls and retail stores can get densely crowded during peak hours, making it hard for business owners to keep track of their customers and merchandise. Business owners usually hire security officers on post duty to show they take security seriously. The security personnel act as a visual deterrent for petty thieves and ensure they’re caught before getting away with anything. While shoplifting might seem like a small or negligible offence, perpetrators have been known to get unruly or violent when caught or exposed. Thus, it is paramount for the public to notify the relevant authorities and security officers who have the proper training to keep things under control.

2. Internal theft

Every retail business owner hopes they can trust their employees. But if they’re experiencing inventory shrinkage, they shouldn’t rule out the possibility that there can be dishonest employees around. After all, it’s only too easy to slip petty cash into pockets or small merchandise into purses. Unfortunately, such incidents are unpredictable and challenging for owners and workers to detect. While cameras can often be used and act as a constant deterrence, a security officer can be hired, especially when items of high value are being sold or traded by a business.

3. External threats 

High-traffic busy areas are a hotspot for terrorist threats such as bomb scares. Shopping centres can also be a trouble spot for organised crime since they display expensive merchandise and facilitate the supply and maintenance of ATMs. Security officers are trained to spot these threats and react calmly and decisively during high-stress situations. But more often than not, bomb threats often lead to mass evacuations and cordoning off of an affected area. Security officers with adequate training are required to know which routes they should cut off to prevent any passers-by from getting into a dangerous zone.

4. Crowd control

In tandem with evacuation, crowd control is a significant concern for any business or shopping district, especially when danger is present. Whether it is because of a security threat, a fire, or even when an unexpectedly huge crowd shows up, there is a need to manage a big group safely and carefully.

5. Emergency situations

So many things can happen to retail environments in one business day — fire outbreaks, customer injuries, and even natural disasters that disrupt operations. While we have already mentioned the aspect of evacuation and crowd control, security officers are also a great asset trained as first responders in medical emergencies. They can manage high-stress situations until medical personnel or police officers arrive on the scene, acting as a voice of authority to direct people to safety.

6. The Covid-19 outbreak

The Covid-19 pandemic has been among the retail industry’s most significant disruptions to date. Under the new normal, retailers are under the responsibility to protect their workers and customers since the virus is still a chief threat. Their efforts may be hampered since shopping malls are public centres that encourage mass gatherings. A security officer can help with enforcing social distancing rules, monitoring entrance exits, and handling crowd flow. These are best enforced by a security officer as the public tends to differ from those in a position of authority.


A security team provides a safe business environment for retail businesses. However, they carry a great responsibility on their shoulders. Incident response, threat observation, crowd control, security screenings, and the whole set of training for security work require expertise and know-how. Thus, security officers should undertake professional training to be proficient in the full spectrum of skills relevant to the security industry.

If that is what you want, Leacov is able to provide comprehensive and professional training for all security officers or those looking to step into the industry and apply for their security license in Singapore. Check out our available courses and see what you can pick up to aid your journey in the security industry.

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