Closing time in any retail store can offer moments of opportunity for criminals. There are often lots of moving parts (and people) during closings, and employees can become preoccupied with inventory and the clean-up, making them less aware of remaining customers and/or their surroundings.
With smash-and-grab robberies on the rise in U.S. jewelry stores, the time to tighten up your closing procedures is now. Here’s your nightly checklist of must-dos:
It sounds dramatic, but in fact it’s crucial: check around your store nightly to make sure all customers have exited, and a potential criminal isn’t hiding in a back room or bathroom.
Signal You’re Closed
Lock all doors, turn the “closed” sign around and remove all other indications that you’re still open for business. Look around in front of your store to make sure things look “normal”—i.e., if there’s an individual in a car staring down your shop’s front door, share the situation with your colleagues, and monitor.
Put Everything Away
While it’s more time-consuming than leaving jewelry in showcases, there are ways to speed up the process of putting a store’s merchandise away nightly. Use properly designed showcase pads that can be easily removed and placed on baker’s racks for quick transportation to a safe or vault where they can be stored. This can also significantly reduce the time needed to set up in the morning.
Lock It Up–Again
An open vault can be an invitation for a robber willing to brandish a gun or pepper spray to nab a big payday. So, with every trip to the back, lock up the vault, then unlock it for the next trip. Yes, it takes more time. But in the event of a robbery, it may mean you lose a tray or two of merchandise, instead of everything.
Give Police a Heads-Up
It’s a good idea to let your local police precinct know your opening and closing hours. They probably won’t be able to swing by every night, but it will heighten their awareness of your business’ most vulnerable times, while fostering your company’s relationship with community law enforcement.