As an owner or manager of a convenience store (c-store), you’re aware that there are numerous areas of activity at both the front and back of the store that require monitoring. Keeping track of all these interactions in one location can seem impossible, particularly when you’re operating multiple locations at once. Here are the 7 most effective locations to place security cameras in c-stores, providing optimal visibility of all activities. These cameras will serve as your primary tool for monitoring the most vulnerable areas for theft, security concerns, and incidents that could result in insurance, legal, or HR claims.
Why Use Security Cameras in C-Stores?
Some c-store owners may not see the value of security cameras and neglect to install them. But this could not be farther from the truth. “For the average retailer, losses due to shoplifting average 1.7% of all gross sales. Shoplifting accounts for about 33% of all total inventory shrinkage (damage, loss, employee theft, expiration, etc. are all other reasons for inventory shrinkage.) Interestingly, 33.1% of total inventory shrinkage is employee theft, which is not classified as shoplifting.”
Types of Risk C-Store Owners Must Monitor
Customer safety, food safety, employee safety, theft, and security are the five essential risk categories c-stores must monitor. Of these, safety and security are paramount. Security cameras give you a visual record of any potential safety and security hazards before they become a liability. Security cameras can also help identify and stop instances of employee theft, operational inefficiency, or inappropriate customer interactions.
Installing security cameras in the locations below will give you the most effective visibility into the daily activities at your c-store and will result in a more effective and profitable business.
1. The Safe
Failing to cover all areas where cash transactions occur exposes you to significant risk. To mitigate this, it’s essential to install a dedicated security camera to monitor any blind spots and employee interactions with the safe. By doing so, you will have the means to investigate any possible instances of fraud or theft.
Type of risk: Theft/fraud
2. The Office
The area in a c-store that is most vulnerable to assaults and other misconduct is often the one that is hardest to monitor with security cameras. Without proper coverage, you leave yourself exposed to legal risks and lack the evidence to take action against any wrongdoing that takes place.
Type of risk: Theft/Fraud, Employee Safety, Security
While bathrooms are a high-risk area for slips and falls due to the preponderance of water, c-store owners and operators typically shy away putting cameras in bathrooms, entrances/exits. Consider putting security cameras in bathroom hallways as this is the second greatest location for most slips and falls.
Type of risk: Customer Safety, Employee Safety
4. Drink Station
The customer drink station is another area where slips and falls can happen due to beverage spills. Installing security cameras in this location can help address any injury concerns and expose any non-compliance with spill cleanup procedures.
Type of risk: Customer Safety, Employee Safety
5. Back Door
The back door of a c-store is the most targeted entry point for robberies, kidnappings, and even murders. It’s crucial to install a dedicated security camera at this location. Regularly monitoring the area will prevent the door from being left open or blocked. Additionally, installing a motion-activated camera outside the door will enable you to monitor who enters and exits. Security cameras in this location can also help identify any theft of food or other merchandise.
Type of risk: Employee safety, security
6. The Walk-In Cooler
Don’t overlook what might be happening in your walk-in cooler. This area can be a hotspot for employee misconduct and theft. For example, an employee carelessly props open the door to the walk-in cooler, which starts losing temperature and puts thousands of dollars worth of food at risk. The walk-in cooler can also be a location to catch employees stealing food. If either of these scenarios occurs, you can explain to employees the result of their actions.
Type of risk: Employee safety, Food Safety, Security, Theft/Fraud
7. POS Line
Keep an eye on where your employees engage with customers. Having surveillance footage of these interactions will help you identify, dispute, or confirm customer complaints and false insurance claims. To effectively capture the exchange of money, goods, and conversations between employees and customers, position your c-store security cameras accordingly.
Type of risk: Customer Safety, Employee Safety, Theft/Fraud
Strategically placing security cameras in these 7 areas can provide significant returns in minimizing loss in your c-store. Additionally, this can serve as a valuable training tool for new employees, but the benefits don’t stop there. Reviewing video footage with your employees can offer a powerful visual aid to help them identify areas for improvement and reinforce best practices.
In most cases, surveillance solutions are an investment that pays. “Video surveillance in retail applications is not an expense! Just the opposite: it’s profitable. If a store is experiencing a 4% inventory shrinkage and by installing cameras the theft is reduced to 2% or less, a convenience store selling $2,000,000 annually would save $40,000 a year…Most retail video surveillance systems actually pay for themselves in just a few months.”
To learn more about Envysion’s managed video solution, click here.