“This Is A Robbery, Everybody Get Down!”
Steps to keep you, your employees and customers safe during a robbery
The best way to prevent injury during a robbery is to prevent the robbery in the first place. But, it is always best to prepare for the worst and ensure you and your team knows how to properly react in the event it does happen. Here are some tips to protect you, your employees and your customers:
q Hire an outside security staff to keep an eye on your business. If you are near multiple stores, pitch in together to have a security staff keep you safe.
q Keep your store clean and well-lit. It becomes darker much earlier during the winter, so make sure your lights come on earlier.
q Posters or signs should not block the area around the register from view.
q Make a cash drop or safety deposit box available.
q Post signs in your store stating that minimum cash is kept on premises.
q Keep busy by cleaning, dusting and sweeping when there are no customers in your store.
q Be aware of cars parked across the street or off to one side of the parking lot.
q Look for people who might be watching the store or loitering in and around it.
q If someone does look suspicious, contact a supervisor or the appropriate authorities.
q Keep emergency phone numbers handy and near all phones.
q Give a friendly greeting to everyone who enters the store and connect with each customer.
If a robbery does occur, be sure your employees have specific instructions on what to do. Here are some tips:
q Give the robber what they want—the longer they are there, the more nervous and agitated the robber can become.
q Stay calm. Handle the situation as if you were making a sale to a customer.
q Let the robber know you intend to cooperate. Give them what they ask for.
q Tell the robber beforehand if you must reach or something or move in any way. Also tell them if there are additional employees in the back so that they are not surprised.
q Don’t try to stop the robber. You might not see a weapon, but do not assume there isn’t one.
q Don’t try to chase the robber. Most likely it will end in violence and can make the scene confusing for when police arrive.
q Dial 911 or your local emergency number once the robbery is over and everyone is safe.
COPYRIGHT WESTERN HOME FURNISHINGS ASSOCIATION
This article appears courtesy of Western Retailer Magazine.
Reprinted with permission