Retail Theft and Rising Challenges During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Retail theft is increasing. The restrictions set in place during the pandemic have not deterred criminal activity in retail stores. In fact, studies have shown a strong increase in retail burglary. And while overall shoplifting appears to be trending down, experts say that is simply a result of massive store closings.

“Based upon our assessment of businesses that continued to operate, petty theft was up” reported CAP Index team after examining daily reported cases from retailers. And their studies show that it is only getting worse. Most of this increase occurred at locations that continued to operate, like grocery and convenience stores.

new challenges

Store vandalism and store associate assault are both on the rise. Shoppers frustrated with regulations set in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have shown more aggression, both to each other and to store associates.

new risks

In addition to these new challenges, the increased risk of infection is also something to consider. There have been multiple incidents nation-wide where shoppers have used the virus as an intimidation tactic against employees, coughing/hacking/sneezing on them in an attempt to cause disruption.

what are the solutions:

Multi-zone security – having a multi-faceted loss prevention security system that can communicate seamlessly between different areas of your store, like siffron’s SONR System, is critical to stopping these incidents before they escalate and get out of hand. SONR monitors merchandise at shelf-level and uses push notification alerts to warn store associates of suspicious activity within the area. Retailers can adjust the functionality to include multiple product categories, and even integrate SONR into other in-store security systems, like Public Viewing Monitors and Overhead PA systems. Find out more about the SONR™ System here.

Increased PPE for Store Associates – Mandating store associates wear their PPE is crucial to keeping them safe from airborne germs, germs on commonly touched surfaces, and unfortunately, just from customers in general who do not follow regulations properly.