Securing Your Micro Market: Prevention Measures for Theft

Micro markets are game changers for the unattended retail or self service food and beverage community. Compared to traditional vending, micro markets on average see 18% more store visits than traditional vending breakrooms. Not only that, but according to Automatic Merchandiser, micro markets produce 1.2 sales per day per visit compared to 0.7 sales in a traditional vending environment. Those numbers add up to an 80% average increase in overall sales in micro markets when upgraded from vending locations. However, with these increases in cash flow come a different set of challenges. These mainly stem from the lack of security presence in a micro market environment.

According to a study conducted by the National Association of Convenience Stores, theft accounts for approximately 1.5% of total sales in the convenience store industry. This figure includes shoplifting, employee theft, and fraud. In micro markets and unattended retail stores, which tend to be smaller and have fewer staff, the risk of theft may be higher. Many operators have seen losses as high as 20% due to theft. Not only does this affect the bottom line, but this can potentially stop business expansion in an industry that can prove to be incredibly fruitful if managed efficiently.

Theft in micro markets and unattended retail can take several forms. One common type of theft is walking out, where customers take items from the shelves and walk out without interacting with the kiosk. Shoplifting can be difficult to prevent in micro markets and unattended retail stores because there is typically no staff present to monitor customers.

Another type of theft that can occur in micro markets and unattended retail is employee theft. This can take the form of employees taking items from the store for their own use, or from employees that are supposed to stock the markets taking items during their routes. Employee theft can be difficult to detect and prevent because it is often done by people who have access to the store and are trusted by the owner.

To prevent theft in micro markets and unattended retail stores, owners can implement several measures. One option is to use Panoptyc's A.I. software and theft detection service, which uses advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques to detect in markets. Another option is to install security cameras and signage to deter shoplifting and other types of theft. Additionally, owners can set up strict policies for employee behavior and set up-front contracts with clients. This could be as simple as drawing up a contract that bills clients when there is theft over a certain percentage, usually three, or a specific dollar threshold. If that does not satisfy clients then creating a standard operating procedure to handle employees that steal may suffice. This could be repayment, deducting money from a paycheck to repay the operator, or even firing employees. Having a plan to negate theft in the beginning is crucial to the long-term success of micro markets.

Overall, theft is a common issue in micro markets and unattended retail stores, with the risk of theft potentially being higher due to the smaller size and fewer staff present in these types of stores. By implementing a range of security measures and policies, store owners can help to protect their business, their clients from theft and their incoming revenues as well.