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7 Retail Security Tips for Jewelry Businesses

Jewelry store owners are under attack.

Across North America, crimes against jewellers have risen by 50 percent since 2019.

And with no end in sight, it’s more important than ever for store owners to take measures to increase their security.

Today’s blog will provide several pro tips jewelry store owners can take to increase retail security, from investing in a set of high-tech security cameras to installing 3M's resilient and robust Security Window Films.



The Scope of the Issue

Crimes against retail establishments are the highest they’ve been in over 30 years– and jewelry stores are primary targets.

According to data from JSA and Jewelers Mutual, in some Canadian communities, daytime crime, which includes everything from armed robberies, and smash-and-grabs, to grab-and-runs, has increased more than 300 percent year-over-year.

And these crimes are taking a significant toll on businesses. From high dollar losses and physical damage to fearful staff and customers, the aftermath of crimes against jewellers is immeasurable.

Most Common Types of Crimes Against Jewellers

Smash, Grab and Run

Smash, grab and runs are one of the most common types of crime jewelry store owners in Canada are faced with. The perpetrators typically enter the store, identities obscured with masks and/or clothing, and proceed to smash display cases with hammers. They then grab whatever merchandise they can and flee the scene– in and out in less than a minute.

Speed is an essential component of these crimes. To ensure time is on their side, many smash-grab-and-run perpetrators case stores out prior, specifically seeking out jewelry stores with easy escape routes and valuables close to the door in hopes of facilitating a faster getaway.

Just a few months ago, several armed robbers participated in a smash-grab-and-run at the Conestoga Mall in Waterloo, targeting local retailer Raffi Jewellers. As evidenced by the video below, the robbers entered in a furry, smashing display counters, and grabbing whatever merchandise they could, leading to quite a scene in the busy provincial mall.

Three-Minute Burglary 

In a three-minute burglary, criminals break through the front glass door or windows to gain entry. Once inside, they pocket any merchandise that was left out in the showroom and swiftly make their way out before anyone notices– all in a matter of three minutes.

To avoid potential thieves from breaking in and ransacking your assets, place all merchandise in a safe. Even products that are of lower value can incentivize would-be thieves. If you don’t have the space to place all your merchandise in a safe, consider keeping lower-value items out of sight in a locked room or drawer.

And most importantly, never cover your display cases– this is just an open invitation for someone to break in and steal what’s inside!

Distracted Thefts

One of the more elaborate forms of crimes against jewellers, distracted theft requires perpetrators to put their acting skills to the test.

In this type of retail crime, a customer often appears faint and doubles over in pain. The store associate who was assisting them is understandably alarmed and confused. A second employee rushes over to help, leaving their customer unattended. While both store associates remain occupied by this apparent emergency, an accomplice quickly pockets one of the pieces they were being shown and quietly exits the store.

Distracted theft criminals typically work in pairs or even small groups. They may enter the store together or separately, and although at the time these attacks do not appear to be planned, these perpetrators have probably cased their target location several times and are coordinating a well-orchestrated effort.

In truth, there’s no telling what these criminals will do to achieve their end goal. Known to feign illnesses, cause a scene over poor customer service, or even utilize innocent children as pawns in their twisted schemes, these thieves know no limits.

To stay safe and limit loss, ask for ID before showing high-end merchandise, only assist one customer at a time, examine each piece of jewelry after showing it to a customer, and never leave customers or merchandise unattended.


Sneak Theft

Similar to distraction theft, a criminal attempting to commit a sneak theft will try to overwhelm store associates, but in a more casual way.

Acting alone rather than in a group or with a partner, the criminal will try on various pieces of merchandise, then claim they don’t like the fit or style. And when the sales associate isn’t paying attention, they’ll pocket some of the merchandise.

Sneak thieves may also attempt to slip their hand inside unlocked display cases or snag items from trays, should the opportunities arise.


The “PEP” approach to jewelry store security

Just like there are different types of stores, there are different methods for tackling retail security.

To target the specific needs of the jewelry industry, Jewelers Mutual established the “PEP” approach. The PEP system consists of three major security components: physical, electronic and procedural.

Together, they work to establish the foundation of your retail store’s security and ensure it’s strong on all accounts.

Physical Security

Physical security measures at your jewelry store are a must! They protect your store from theft and damage, as well as keep it safe from trespassers.

Physical security measures include safes, locks, burglary-resistant glass like 3M™ Security Window Films, as well as physical barriers in front of your store that discourage perpetrators from using their vehicles to smash their way in.

Lighting is another important form of physical security. You’ll want to ensure your store is well-lit at all times, even at night.

Electronic Security

Electronic security is also important. From your burglar alarm system and its method of signal transmission to your video surveillance systems, the latest technology and software can help your jewelry store ensure high-level retail security, no matter where you are.

This type of monitoring allows you to track inventory movements throughout the day and oversee employee behaviour patterns over time as well as staff members’ access levels.

Make sure you’re getting the most out of these systems by taking the time to fully understand them and double-check to ensure that you are receiving all the services and features that you are paying for.

Procedural Security

Procedural security may be one of the most important forms of security your jewelry store can take to mitigate crime. It involves educating employees on best practices, so they know how to protect themselves in the face of threats, both inside and outside of the store.

For example, if you’re concerned about theft, you might want to teach your staff about how to spot fake IDs, or how to identify potential thieves by their body language.

Whether for opening and closing the store, showing merchandise to customers, or shipping and receiving, with the right procedures in place, you can minimize risks and make your jewelry store an undesirable target for possible thieves.


7 Ways to Stay Safe and Reduce Loss at Your Jewelry Store

Keeping your jewelry business safe from retail crimes is a full-time job. It requires constant vigilance and the right security measures.

To ensure your store has the right preventative measures in place, consider the following security tips created specifically for your jewelry business.

Limit In-Case Value

Smash-and-grabs are becoming increasingly common, and they can cost retailers a lot of money.

One way to prepare for these retail crimes is to limit the overall value of items you keep in display cases and consider using prototypes, if and when possible. Another way to protect your jewelry store is by never placing high-valued items near doorways, windows or exits as these are easy targets for robbers.

Install Video Surveillance

Anti-theft devices are an essential safety and security component for retail stores.

Criminals attempting to steal from your retail store are often smart enough to mask their faces. Video surveillance cameras can help record other identifying factors such as:

  • Height
  • Build
  • Hair colour
  • Skin colour
  • Type of car – and potentially license plate if in view

Installing cameras at point of sale (POS), doorways, entrances and near safes and/or vaults can deter theft and help identify suspects if a crime is committed. In fact, security cameras for businesses are incredibly valuable for law enforcement. They can aid in identifying and arresting suspects and have a direct impact on core proceedings.

Consider Commercial Security Systems

A security system allows store owners to keep their eyes on their store at all times while contacting authorities if the need arises. This kind of system is essential for any business that wants to ensure that its employees and goods are safe from theft.

Your commercial security system should be fitted with door sensors, glass break sensors, and motion detectors. Together these systems can work to detect break-ins at your store’s vulnerable entry points. When one of the systems is triggered, an alarm will sound, and local authorities as well as alarm monitoring companies will immediately be notified.

Whoever is closing up shop each night should also ensure that the commercial security systems are on and working before leaving. This way you can rest easy knowing that your business is protected from theft and vandalism.

One-Piece Policy

In an effort to reduce sneak thefts, consider enforcing a staff-wide policy of only showing one piece of jewelry at a time.

While this may sound like poor customer service, it’s a highly effective way to reduce the risk of theft. Now, experienced thieves posing as customers may try to prey on your staff’s accommodating nature and make them feel guilty for not letting them try on more than one piece at a time. If this happens, have your sales associate offer to try on one of the pieces to allow for a side-by-side comparison.

To help warrant their understanding, you may also want to consider displaying tasteful signage in your showcase or around your store that explains the added security measure.

Provide Good Customer Service

Providing exceptional customer service is more than just good for business– it’s great for deterring theft, too!

When you approach customers and greet them, you demonstrate that you’re aware of their presence. This simple act can make a would-be criminal think twice before trying to slip something past you.

It all comes down to this: the more attention you pay to your customers, the less likely they are to steal from you.

Document and Notify Local Law Enforcement

If you suspect that there is a security issue within your jewelry store, make sure you document everything as soon as possible. This will help police investigate the incident and determine whether or not you need to take additional measures to protect yourself and your business.

In addition, it is important to keep staff members updated and notify a crime prevention network, like Jewellers Vigilance Canada (JVC) which may be able to assist law enforcement in determining whether there have been similar incidents nearby.

Apply 3M™ Security Films to Windows, Doors and Display Cases

Whether you operate a stand-alone jewelry store or are one of many vendors inside a mall, glass is an important part of your business’s security.

Windows, doors, display cases– all of these surfaces are vulnerable to break-ins and theft and as a result, require protection.

3M™ Security Window Films are the leading solution for protecting your jewelry store against theft, break-ins, and other security threats.

Consisting of thin layers of transparent polyester, this line of window films demonstrates unbelievable tear resistance; even if it shatters, it holds the glass together so that it doesn’t fall out onto customers or employees.

When this film is applied to glass surfaces, it makes it incredibly difficult to break through–so much so that we’ve seen criminals give up trying after just a few minutes trying to get inside!

See the difference shatter-proof glass makes in deterring jewelry thieves for yourself as a group of suspects attempted to rob a Stoneridge Mall jewelry store but were deterred after several failed attempts.


Ready to Secure Your Jewelry Store?

Convenience Group is here to help you with all your window film needs.

We offer a great selection of security window films from 3M, as well as several other types of window films that you may require for your home or business.

Contact us today for more information or to schedule a time to stop by our Toronto showroom and discover 3M’s line of impressive Security Window Films in person!