With the busiest retail season of the year underway, it is imperative your staff members are prepared for security emergencies and ‘worst case scenarios.’ Whether your team consists of new and/or temporary employees who are joining your business for the holidays, or you have a crew of seasoned veterans on staff, it’s essential to perform a complete review of your security procedures to ensure everyone knows the drill this holiday season.
After all, overlooking security measures and proper training could leave your business exposed and vulnerable during a time when crimes against jewellers tend to escalate. What’s more, neglecting to enforce security best practices (or otherwise letting things slide) will make bad habits difficult to change as the year progresses.
Jewellery is in high demand during the gift-giving season and, as such, the risk of loss sees an increase as well. To minimize this risk, it is important your entire staff knows how to sell with security before traffic increases and this becomes impossible to manage.
Although there is still a lot of preparation that goes into completing another successful year, taking time to review jewellery store security remains essential. Use this resource and piece of advice to help educate your staff efficiently and effectively.
From friendliness to eagerness, there are a lot of aspects that make up a good salesperson. Among the most important, of course, is the consistent application of secure selling procedures. After all, huge sales could easily be wiped away if the simple act of locking a showcase display is neglected, or if a burglar alarm system is not properly armed at the end of the day.
When it comes to keeping your business safe and secure over the holiday season, communicate with your staff members to ensure they’re familiar and comfortable with various security measures, including:
- tips for preventing various types of theft (e.g. grab-and-runs);
- what to do when they see something suspicious;
- how to properly respond in the case of a robbery;
- by-the-book opening and closing procedures; and
- proper procedures for showing customers high-value items.
Back to school
When it comes to retail loss prevention tools, an effective way to train your new employees, as well as refresh the skills and knowledge of your veteran staff members, is to hold a formal training session.
One example of such program is Jewelers Mutual (JM) University, which is an exclusive member benefit for JM policyholders. As the holiday season looms, consider signing up your entire team and enrolling them in the ‘Selling with Security’ course, which takes only an hour to complete.
The course includes several videos on a range of topics and security tips, including:
- the importance of meeting and greeting every customer;
- preventing grab-and-run thefts by showing only one item at a time;
- an overview of showcase security and controlling access to its contents; and
- how to stay safe during a robbery.
Selling with Security also includes a final exam, which can be used by you to verify each staff member has successfully completed the course and understood the material.
JM University is a great resource for helping your employees become familiar with jewellery store security at their own pace. That said, hosting a post-course, in-person review of the procedures your staff members learned through the online program will help your team become more knowledgeable on the topics covered and feel comfortable selling jewellery and other apparel securely.
Class in session
Set a due date for all of your employees to complete the course, and then schedule a time to meet where topics can be reviewed and any questions can be addressed. The best time to hold this meeting is during non-business hours, as this provides an excellent opportunity to show your entire staff how to properly open and close your business. The beginning and end of a day are the most common time for a crime to take place, especially during the holidays.
If you hold your meeting before or after business hours, make sure your routine of setting up or taking down merchandise doesn’t interfere with the flow of the meeting. To that end, selecting a time when your business is completely closed all day may work best.
Depending on the size of your staff and the level of detail you want to get into, consider doing a role-playing exercise of what to do in case of an armed robbery. Invite your local police department to participate in this as well. These trained professionals can offer your team additional safety tips, and the activity will help your business build a relationship with them, too.
Don’t forget to also address the often-overlooked topic of internal theft. This is not always about a member of your team stealing items from the inventory or cash from the drawer; it can extend to instances of an employee giving a discount to a friend or family member, or stealing time by improperly reporting their hours worked. Be sure to have documented policies and procedures in place that cover this topic and review this material with your employees.
Let’s get specific
Be sure to apply the principles of Selling with Security to the specific aspects of your business, as well as the physical layout of your location.
Consider highlighting specific things for your employees, such as:
- the types of merchandise that are most likely to be targeted;
- ways to best manage the flow of customer traffic to prevent distractions;
- how to identify and report information about suspicious activity; and
- what to do after a robbery or theft occurs.
You may also to consider a high-level overview of your physical security.
Examples of this may include:
- location and operation of surveillance cameras;
- how to secure merchandise in a safe or vault; and
- how to properly arm your alarm system.
Help your staff sell jewellery securely
Whether you’re a retail jeweller, wholesaler, or custom designer who sells jewellery online, you can benefit from educational courses offered through JM University.
Think you have your security best practices memorized? Prove it by conquering the quizzes featured in A Day in the Life of a Jeweler, Jewelers Mutual’s latest course outlining common threats jewellers face every day.
For resources regarding safety and security when carrying or working with jewellery, visit JewelersMutual.com. Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group is the only company specializing exclusively in jewellery insurance in Canada and the United States. It is licensed in Canada and all 50 states.