Since the reopening of non-essential stores, the UK high street has been rallying. GDP rose by 2.3% in April 2021, the largest monthly increase since July 2020. This is especially impressive as many stores only opened on the 12th April, meaning that much of this growth came from the second half of the month alone.
UK retailers are right to be optimistic, but there is still a long way to go. The economy shrank by almost 10% in 2020, the largest single drop since records began. In total, the pandemic is estimated to have cost the retail and hospitality sector over £45 billion. In order to make up this shortfall, you will need to make every penny count. This means increasing efficiency and eliminating losses.
Theft is on the rise
Sadly, many of these losses are the result of crime. UK retailers lost £1 billion to crime in 2019, £770 million of which was caused by shoplifting. This trend is likely to continue as criminals take advantage of the disruption of the pandemic to expand their activities. As well as opportunism, desperation may also play a part. Shoplifting increased 20% following the 2008 recession, and many believe that the economic hardships of the pandemic could trigger a similar rise.
This puts a lot of pressure on your security teams. Many security colleagues have taken responsibility for enforcing COVID safety measures in addition to their normal duties. This means that they have less time to concentrate on preventing theft. We hate to see criminals taking advantage of this situation, so we’ve designed our system to give security colleagues all the support they need. Here are some of the ways VoCoVo can help you to stay one step ahead of the criminals.
1. Connecting colleagues
When it comes to stopping crime, communication is your best defence. Shoplifters will pick their moment to take advantage of distracted colleagues or security blind spots. VoCoVo connects everyone in store so that colleagues are always supported and never outnumbered:
- Colleagues can contact on-site security at the push of a button. There’s no need to wait for security to arrive- you can inform them of the situation immediately.
- Unlike a tannoy announcement, colleagues can call for security in a discreet way. This keeps everyone safe and reduces the likelihood of a shoplifter escaping.
- Keypads allow checkout colleagues to alert security teams without leaving their position.
2. Linking local and external security teams
Your security team are your eyes and ears on the shop floor, but they can’t be everywhere at once. If you have multiple stores, you may also employ an external security team to monitor your entire network. VoCoVo links security colleagues on the ground to those back at HQ so you can coordinate your efforts for maximum effect:
- If shoplifters are operating in a certain area, HQ can warn other stores in the region to be on the lookout. Our message casting feature allows your external security team to send a warning to all stores in the region at the same time.
- If your external security team spots suspicious activity on one of your CCTV cameras, they can alert the on-site team immediately.
- Colleagues can contact external security directly using their headsets. HQ can track these reports in order to spot patterns and predict future threats.
3. Integration with security equipment
VoCoVo doesn’t just provide new security solutions- it also improves the ones you have. Our system is designed to integrate seamlessly with traditional security equipment to provide all-round protection:
- CCTV cameras can be linked to headsets. If a camera spots something suspicious, it will trigger an automated alert.
- VoCoVo can be linked to smart shelving to notify colleagues when stock is running low. The system can track stock patterns and warn colleagues if stock is depleting at a suspicious rate.
- We can integrate our headsets with your existing tannoy system. This allows colleagues to make public security announcements without giving away their location or identity.
Security teams across the country have been doing an amazing job throughout the pandemic. With VoCoVo on your side, you can focus on safety without giving criminals an easy ride.