As the cost of living crisis continues – why shutters are essential for retail businesses

Paul Neighbour
31 October, 22

Security is of paramount importance to every retail business, no matter how big or small. The impact of crime on the retail sector can’t be understated, with theft currently costing UK retail businesses £2.5 billion annually.

With no end in sight to the cost of living crisis and 91%  of UK households reporting that they have been impacted in the last few months, retailers are having to consider how this will affect their businesses.  Although and how they can put in place preventative measures.

Increased Crime

Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Andy Cooke, warns that the rise in the cost of living in the UK will have serious consequences “The impact of poverty, and the impact of lack of opportunity for people, does lead to an increase in crime. There are no two ways about that.”

This means that not only are shop owners suffering and dealing with the cost of living crisis due to their own homes and businesses costs, but retailers also need to be conscious of the security of their shops.

Beware of Offputting Security Trends

With the cost of living crisis and a drastic spike in theft across the UK, many retailers are left struggling to protect their goods and resorting to offputting and ill-thought-out security systems.

Retail giant, Sainsbury’s began locking Lindt and Green & Black’s chocolate in individual plastic cases normally used to secure small technological goods. While this may have secured the confectionary items against theft, there is no doubt that such measures will prove a deterrent for genuine customers.

Retailers need to consider how they can protect products while also maintaining a good standard of customer experience.

The most effective security methods

The best security methods take into account the needs of each business. Security is not a one size fits all solution. Bespoke methods allow businesses to maintain a strong aesthetic design without detracting from the look and feel of the store.

Many businesses, especially smaller independent stores, are rushed into making security decisions that don’t consider their needs or meet all their security requirements. These security measures don’t come cheap, and if businesses are investing resources, time, and money then taking the time to find the best solution is essential. 

Considering the options

Shutters are perhaps the most effective anti-theft measure, especially for retail businesses. They can be altered depending on certain factors, for example, how often they will be opened and closed throughout the day, how many employees will have access and the current look and design of the business front.

Businesses can employ the service of a surveyor to find the most suitable shutters, who will assess all necessary factors including integrating shutters alongside existing security solutions for all-around protection.

High-value stores – higher risk

The greater the value of the goods in the retail store, the greater the risk of theft. Certain solutions have been developed specifically for such businesses, such as SR2 and SR3 graded shutters that protect against motivated intruders attempting to force entry.

The gold standard of LPS (Loss Prevention Standard) tested shutters are assessed against break-ins using specific attach tools to ensure their high protection against likely attacks. Businesses should consider looking out for shutters with these specifications to make sure that the systems they invest in will offer the best level of protection possible.

Other options, such as tube and link shutters, stored in discreet small housings, are a great solution as an alternative to big bulky shutters and allow high-end stores to maintain the look and feel of their storefront by offering low-visibility yet functional security. 

Take Security Seriously

As the cost of living and crime rates continue to increase, there is no doubt that now more than ever, retailers need to consider their security methods and find the right solution. Security measures adapted to the specific needs of each business will prevent any unnecessary loss or damage from theft from impacting the future of the business.

Paul Neighbour has worked within the industrial door industry for over 40 years, having started out as a Door Engineer in 1989. He progressed to a technical sales surveyor with Guardian Doors and subsequently went on to work within LBS Group and currently serves as a surveyor with Roché’s security department offering expert advice for high-profile projects throughout the UK.

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