December 16, 2021

7 Key Areas C-Store Owners Need to Monitor

If you own or manage a Convenience or C-Store, you know there are several areas of activity at the front and back ends of the store at any given time. It can feel impossible to monitor each interaction in one location, not to mention the challenge of operating multiple locations simultaneously. To get the most visibility of all that is happening, here are the 7 best locations to place video surveillance in C-Stores. They will be your main resource to monitor the most common areas for theft, security issues, or incidents that may result in insurance, legal, or HR claims.

Why Use Video Surveillance in C-Stores?

Some C-store owners may not see the value of video surveillance 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. Video surveillance gives you a visual record of any potential safety and security hazards before they become a liability. Video surveillance can also help identify and stop instances of employee theft, operational inefficiency, or inappropriate customer interactions.
Installing video surveillance 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

Any surveillance blind spots in which individuals may be handling cash opens you up to risk so the safe is worthy of a dedicated security camera to monitor employee interactions and potential security risks. Video surveillance at this site will give you the tools to investigate potential fraud or theft.

Type of risk: Theft/fraud

2.  The Office

Often this is one of the greatest blind spots (from a video surveillance perspective) in any retail store, so it is a prime location for assaults and other misconduct. Without evidence of wrongdoing,  you open yourself up to legal risk and lack the evidence to address misbehavior when it occurs.

Type of risk: Theft/Fraud, Employee Safety, Security

3.  Bathrooms

While bathrooms are a high-risk area for slips and falls due to the preponderance of water, convenience store owners and operators typically shy away putting cameras in bathrooms, entrances/exits. Consider putting video surveillance 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

Another potential location for slips and falls is in front of the customer drink station. Slips and /or falls can occur in these areas due to beverage spillage. Installing video surveillance here will help rectify any concerns of injury and may reveal non-compliance to spill cleanup.

Type of risk: Customer Safety, Employee Safety

5.  Back Door

The back door is the number one entry for C-store robberies, kidnappings, and murders. This is an extremely important location for a dedicated surveillance camera. Monitor to ensure that the back door is not kept open or obstructed. Install a motion-activated security camera on the outside of the door to monitor who enters and exits. This is also an important surveillance location to monitor the theft of food or goods.

Type of risk: Employee safety, security

6.  The Walk-In Cooler

What’s going on in your walk-in cooler? The answer might surprise you. This often-overlooked area can be the host to employee misconduct and even 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

Monitor where your employees are interacting with your customers. This surveillance footage will help you identify, dispute, or confirm customer complaints and false insurance claims. Position your C-store surveillance cameras to capture the exchange of funds, dialogue, and goods between employees and customers.

Type of risk: Customer Safety, Employee Safety, Theft/Fraud

Placing video surveillance cameras in these seven locations will pay off tenfold in mitigating loss in your C-Store. It can also serve as a real-life training example for new employees. The benefits do not end there. Reviewing video footage with employees can be a powerful visual aid to reinforce areas for their improvement.

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.”

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