No retail operation is immune to crime and that includes card stores and sports memorabilia dealers.
That was the topic of one of the first sessions at the 2021 Industry Summit Monday morning. Three days of discussions opened in Las Vegas with a discussion led by Officer Randy Klenosky of the Las Vegas Police Department and Joe Davis, owner of J&J Sports Superstore in Loganville, GA.
“Store Security: Protecting Your Assets” proved it’s not just talk that will keep theft away from your store and valuables. With a rash of card store thefts over the last 18 months, Klenosky gave the typical advice he gives retail and brick and mortar shop owners, but with a spin aimed at card store owners.
“Commercial burglaries are up since the pandemic,” said Klenosky, who is now a civilian employed by the LVPD to work in the community at large preventing crime. “(With) not as many people around, it makes stores attractive targets.”
Klenosky said entry methods to stores should be checked and made strategic. Criminals have proven to be increasingly unafraid to break glass and then enter quickly through the broken glass.
“It’s easy to smash the glass,” said Klenosky. “Check the functionality of your alarms and motion sensors.”
Also important is that something as simple as 3M security film behind the glass, a new product, can add minutes to the time it takes a criminal to get into your store.
The officer talked from experience about vulnerabilities that card shops can face including a lack of training for staff, a target rich environment, inadequate staffing and a lack of sufficient security technology.
He then went to explain simple steps retail shops can take to make them less vulnerable to thieves during business hours, including the importance of lighting. It all starts with the parking lot. And more light should be used the closer one gets to the entrance to the store.
Other simple things that can be done, according to Klenosky, is to make eye contact with customers and learning to recognize suspicious behavior. That goes for show dealers too.
Davis led the second part of the presentation. He talked about the growth of his hobby shop from 500 square-feet to a building that houses product on three stories and sells a high volume of product online. “It’s been a challenge,” offered Davis. “Things are constantly changing, but shop owners have to keep up with technology.”
Davis’ advice included regular testing of alarms and cameras, having multiple safes of good quality, keeping some inventory out of sight and storing some items at a location his customers don’t even know exists. Davis also said shop owners should approach their store from the outside and determine how easy it might be to break in.