Opening and closing your store. Statistically, retail jewellers are most vulnerable to an armed robbery at opening and closing times. Jewellers Vigilance Canada and Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA) agree it is important that two individuals open and close the store. In addition, there should be at least two associates on the sales floor at all times when the store is open for business.
To safely open a store, appoint one associate to unlock the door and conduct a thorough search of the premises, indicating an ‘all clear’ to the second associate, who is positioned outside at a safe distance to notify local law enforcement should there be any danger or issues. The same procedure can be used to close a store.
Meet and greet. Saying hello to every customer who enters your store and making eye contact isn’t just a good way to make people feel welcome—it makes criminals feel unwelcome. Greet guests by asking whom they’re shopping for and offering to show interesting pieces of jewellery. Even if you’re busy with another guest, you should still offer a quick greeting. Just be sure not to turn your back on the current customer.
One on one. Keep your focus on one guest at a time. It can be tough during the holidays, but it makes a customer feel special that they are worthy of your undivided attention. It also helps ensure you don’t lose track of merchandise. In addition, show only one item at a time. If a customer wants to compare two watches, for example, put one on your wrist. Show rings on a ring holder, so they remain within eyesight at all times. Also, don’t be distracted by arguments or other commotions. Something as simple as a person dropping a cup of coffee could be part of a plan to commit a crime.
Turn the key. Keep all jewellery showcases locked and remove the keys from the cases when they are unattended or when you’re not actively taking items out or returning them. Also, keep an eye on your keys at all times. Never set them down where they can be taken easily.
Provide a private showing area. Whenever a customer asks to see high-value merchandise, allow them to do so in a private area or office away from the main showroom. This arrangement offers privacy for your customer, while allowing the associate to focus their undivided attention on showing the jewellery. It also helps prevent a grab-and-run.
Secure your store. Keeping your merchandise safe isn’t just about training yourself and your employees. It’s imperative to create a secure store environment. Take a good look around your store and ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your entrance have a chime to alert associates when customers enter and exit?
- “¨Do associates have a clear view of the entire showroom?
- Are high-value items distributed throughout the store and away from entrances?
- Do you maintain a surveillance camera that records 24-7?
- Do all jewellery merchandise showcases have pick-resistant locks without universal keys?
- Are all showcase tops secured with metal clips and adhesive?