How to Create a Retail Security Solution

In today’s dynamic retail environment, innovative new technologies can help retailers improve business performance, reduce shrink, control liability, protect staff and customers, and build shopper loyalty. Retailers face specific challenges that require technology, support, and expertise to allow these businesses to stay in touch with the changing needs of its customers, while also managing and mitigating loss.

American Integrated Security Group (AISG) — this year’s top-ranked company in the annual SD&I Fast50 (see www.securityinfowatch.com/sdifast50) — has become a top retail security integration provider by delivering solutions to minimize shrink, increase conversion rates, manage inventory, drive productivity, and optimize store performance. AISG’s comprehensive end-to-end integration promotes the use of traditional security technologies in additional departments — including marketing and human resources — to optimize operations.

AISG provides exclusive security integration installation and monitoring for Burlington Coat Factory, one of the largest apparel retailers operating in the United States and Puerto Rico with more than 500 stores. In June, 2012, Burlington Coat Factory called on AISG to engineer a uniform solution that unites all existing stores and is applied to new growth. Here are some of our lessons learned and best practices for retail security that stemmed from these deployments:

1Build a Comprehensive Solution. To protect assets and provide a safe and secure shopping experience for customers and employees, retail security calls for a comprehensive solution including an integration of networked video surveillance, electronic tagging, access control, alarms, POS reporting and EAS. A customized system uniting all of these elements permits retailers to increase awareness of their environment while also allowing them to focus on their core business: ensuring customer satisfaction.

2Maximize Existing Infrastructure. Retailers with existing stores and the desire to add more likely have existing analog video surveillance systems in place that still work. The key is to get the most out of the existing system and previous investments while upgrading to an IP platform. AISG designs modular systems — so when a retailer is ready to move completely to an IP system, the infrastructure is in place and the transition is smooth and more affordable.

3Be Scalable. Retailers often have more than one location, so in developing an integrated security solution, it must be scalable to encompass new growth and apply to all locations. Developing a solution that can be applied to one or 100 stores is an efficient method of providing uniformity which saves money and is easier to manage.

4Offer Remote Viewing & Central Monitoring Capability. Large multi-facility retailers require remote viewing capability for internal security and loss prevention, but they also need central monitoring which allows virtual onsite presence and complete off-premises facilities control. The entire security system — including access control, video surveillance, audio communications, burglar alarm systems and guard patrols — can be fully integrated with an off-site 24-hour communications command center that can be relied on to respond in real time to any security situation. AISG central monitoring specialists, for example, are trained to immediately verify and assess any situation and respond appropriately, whether it is an authentic emergency or a false alarm. Our personnel alert the nearest safety or law enforcement authorities, bring the retailer’s physical security personnel to the area of disturbance, communicate directly with distressed parties, and monitor every situation through to resolution.

Levy Acs is President & Chief Technical Officer for American Integrated Security Group (AISG), which delivers innovative integrated security systems with full-service expertise and resources to design, deploy, service and monitor. Visit www.aisg-online.com for more information.

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