Retail sector risks you should be aware of

Businesses in the retail sector witness many risks on a daily basis; from shoplifting to more perfidious and innovative threats, it can get challenging for them to keep up with loss prevention. Retail crimes can cause severe losses, costing business owners in this sector billions of dollars annually. 

As you may assume, the pandemic we’ve all witnessed has left its mark on the retail owners; besides an increase in crimes, it has also become pretty tricky to identify all the wrongdoers due to mandatory masks. Additionally, employees in the brick-and-mortar stores had to shift their attention from preventing shoplifting to fulfilling all the safety health measures around the stores. With that in mind, it’s crucial to stay aware of all the retail sector risks and learn more about how to prevent them.

retail sector risks


This part of product theft not only impacts the business’s profit but also puts security management into question. However, preventing shoplifting is easier than it seems. It only requires more store surveillance, tagging products with an alarm-triggered tag. These tags will be set off when a thief tries to leave the store. By reporting the incident as it happens, the store staff can be on top of any potential case and prevent them from happening.

Robbery and attempted robbery

A robbery is an act where a threat or force is used to take someone’s goods unlawfully. If a robbery is successful, it directly impacts stock levels. If a robber steals money, it will affect the business’ profit. But the robbery doesn’t have to be successful to impact your business. When your employee witnesses an attempted robbery, it affects their feelings of safety and may eventually impact their decision to continue working with you. 
To be more prepared for potential cases in the future, you should track these incidents and invest more in better security measures.

Unauthorized intrusion and burglary

If a thief enters your store without authority and with the intent to steal, it’s called unauthorized intrusion or burglary. That can be both an outsider intruder or someone from your staff. If it is a staff member, it is a case of insider crime.
You can prevent this type of crime if you get an active alarm system that will set off if someone enters the store outside of working hours and record the incidents, so you have evidence when reporting them. Lastly, unauthorized intrusion doesn’t only happen in your story – it may also happen in your warehouse. That’s why it’s helpful to have a professional warehouse security guard to keep any suspicious activity away.

Money fraud and counterfeit cash

Stolen credit cards, counterfeit cash, and bad cheques all make excellent tools for thieves to openly steal your goods while pretending to pay for them lawfully. Many retail owners agree that money fraud and counterfeit cash present serious threats to their businesses. That’s why it’s essential to actively check every payment method you receive and incorporate a chip and pin system. 

Checkout fraud

Checkout fraud can include several tactics criminals use to avoid paying for goods. For example, they might swipe price stickers or barcodes for a less expensive item or purposely fail to swipe a product if they use a self-checkout. Another widespread checkout fraud includes a practice known as sweethearting, where employees give discounts to people they know without permission. In such scenarios, it’s helpful to have a security guard around your store to monitor any suspicious activity around both shoppers and employees.

Return and refund fraud

Yes, criminals may even come back to the crime scene trying to return an item they shoplifted previously. They can also come back to your store with a fake proof of purchase or receipt, trying to return an item and get their money back. The best way to fight this behavior is to update your return and refund policies to secure your business in the future.


Thankfully, business owners have the right to refuse admission to their stores. If you ban previous wrongdoers, you can claim trespass if they try to come back to your store or commit another crime. An armed security guard who watches your store entrance can prevent trespassing by keeping a record of all the previously banned individuals.


Vandalism can pose significant risks to a retail sector business. All the property damage, graffiti, and other kinds of vandalism require a lot of money and time to repair. Therefore, it’s imperative to increase security surveillance measures on your property and actively analyze how to adjust your protective strategy to avoid witnessing vandalism in the future.

How to prevent theft in retail stores

Prepare a retail theft prevention plan

Store owners and retail managers should be better prepared for possible thrift care in their shops. Setting the detailed plan, anyone can be aware of basic procedures for implementing preventive measures such as returns and refunds, bag checking protocol, and employee schedules. It should outline a protocol that your employees can follow if they end up in a situation of in-store theft.

Train staff with anti-theft techniques

The staff working in a retail store plays an essential role in preventing theft. That’s why they must be educated and equipped to engage with customers and detect suspicious behavior. Some useful techniques are being mindful of the cash register and keeping an eye on the dressing room area.

Final thoughts

Although these are some of the most prominent retail sector risks, many experts agree that thieves and criminals will only get better at finding ways to harm businesses. Preventing all of them is virtually impossible for business owners who would rather spend their time growing their companies and revenues. With that in mind, your next smart move should be to find a professional and trustworthy security guard patrol. Their experienced staff can develop an effective strategy to keep the shoplifters away and train your employees to assist in creating a safe and secure environment for everyone.