Insights

Grocery store security cameras and systems, best ways to prevent theft and risks

April 11, 2024

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Here we will discuss the best grocery store security cameras and systems, key types of thefts and risks to watch out for in grocery stores and preventative measures you can take to stop these thefts and risks.

What are the best and most used types of grocery store security cameras?

In today’s bustling grocery market, ensuring the safety of both customers and store assets is paramount. That’s where security cameras and cutting-edge software come into play. By strategically placing the right security cameras throughout the store and implementing sophisticated security software, such as Solink, grocery store owners can effectively deter theft, mitigate operational risks, and ensure a safer shopping environment for everyone. From preventing internal theft by employees to thwarting external shoplifting attempts, these security measures offer peace of mind while safeguarding the store’s reputation and bottom line. Let’s dive deeper into the crucial role that security cameras and software play in enhancing security within grocery stores.

There are several types of security cameras appropriate for a grocery store. The right mix of grocery store security cameras will usually include the following:

  1. Fisheye (360) security cameras
  2. Turret cameras
  3. Dome cameras
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Fisheye (360) security cameras

360 security cameras, sometimes called fisheye cameras, give users a complete 360° by 180° view of an area.

This makes them ideal for covering large open areas, such as the produce section or open bakery departments.

360 degree cameras get their nickname of fisheye cameras due to the distorted image shown. This made it hard to understand exactly what was happening within the video. However, using modern gaming technology, Solink stretches out this view to give you an immersive look at what is happening at your site.

Here’s a 360 security camera at work within the Solink app:

View all angles of your restaurant with a 360 degree camera
Turret cameras

Turret security cameras have a ball-and-socket design. Within the “turret”, the ball-like camera can be positioned to look at different angles. This makes their installation and re-positioning flexible. These are the basic cameras that come to mind when someone says “security camera.”

They are ideal for monitoring doorways, loading docks, and to point up and down every aisle of your grocery store.

See our article on turret vs. dome cameras right here.

Dome cameras
Hikvision ip dvr ddr ddr ddr ddr ddr.

Dome cameras are cameras covered with a dome. This provides two advantages. First, the cover protects the camera from vandalism. Second, the camera inside the dome could be pointing in any direction, which provides greater security value.

The added protection from vandalism makes dome cameras useful for outdoor surveillance and anywhere inside a supermarket within reach of someone who might want to damage grocery store security cameras to hide theft.

A white cctv camera on a black background.

Solink’s video analytics and surveillance for grocery stores makes it easy to create a safe, secure, and healthy environment.

Schedule a 30-minute product demo with our experts

What are the top grocery store security risks?

From internal employee theft to external shoplifting, the security challenges facing grocery stores are multifaceted. However, it’s often the operational inefficiencies and liabilities that pose a more substantial long-term threat to profitability. That’s where the strategic implementation of advanced grocery store security cameras becomes indispensable. By investing in the right security infrastructure, including state-of-the-art surveillance technology and software solutions, supermarkets can effectively mitigate these risks:

Internal theft

Internal theft is when employees or other people inside of an organization steal from the business. Grocery stores experience several types of internal theft:

Point of sale (POS) employee theft

The point of sale (POS) is one of the key locations for employee theft. While employee discounts are not as common for supermarkets as other retail locations, there are still ways for employees to steal from you at the POS.

Employees can skip swipe products, use cheaper codes for weighed items, and more to provide cheaper groceries for friends and family. For grocery stores that do offer employee discounts, discount abuse can occur.

If you use typeable codes for reduced-to-sell discounts on perishable goods, then employees could use those codes to discount fresh goods as well.

Inventory theft

Internal inventory theft can mean several things. First, relaxed receiving procedures could lead to deliveries being short. Second, employees may shoplift from the sales floor or steal boxes of inventory from the backroom.

One of the hardest forms of inventory theft to find, however, is items purposely mispriced. For example, someone in the meat department could re-label tenderloin as ground beef.

Employee grazing

Employees grazing is a special form of shoplifting where employees steal items to consume during their shift. For example, an employee might open a bag of chips to leave in the backroom to munch on while working.

As another example, sometimes the deli counter or a cashier may help employees make and price their own sandwiches. In this case, $12 of pastrami and some cheese might get rung up as just the $1 kaiser bun.

External theft

External theft is when people outside an organization steal from a business. Shoplifting is the first form of external theft that comes to mind, but there are several others.

Shoplifting

Shoplifting is particularly pervasive in supermarkets. Many people who could never justify stealing clothes can personally come to terms with taking food from a grocery story. The high volume of sales also makes it harder to find the telltale signs of missing merchandise.

Grocery store shoplifting can range from someone taking a bag of cookies to expensive meat thefts. Some shoplifters will even line a cart with toilet paper rolls to then fill the hidden center with expensive meat or other items. A single shoplifting event like this can cost a supermarket thousands in merchandise.

Theft-woman-stealing-food

Identifying a shoplifter isn’t easy, and building the evidence to support a shoplifting case can be even harder. Solink can make it easier to spot shoplifters, track them as they leave the store, and then share evidence with law enforcement by email.

To see how Solink can help protect your grocery store, sign up for a demo today.

After hours break and enters

Grocery stores carry millions in inventory and generate a lot of weekly revenue. While much of that revenue is in the form of digital transactions, there’s the perception that a supermarket robbery would be lucrative.

This can lead to them being popular targets for late night break-ins.

Theft at the self-checkouts

Self-checkouts are spreading across the retail industry, especially grocery stores. Although self-checkouts can reduce labor costs and overhead, they also represent a major external theft risk. From the banana trick to the switcheroo, theft at self-checkouts is so pervasive that there’s an entire vocabulary developing around it.

A man at a grocery store self checkout with tomatoes

Operational risks

Individual theft events can cost companies thousands of dollars. However, a single injury claim can dwarf that total. Added to injury liability, cleanliness and training are other common operational risks in grocery stores that can be mitigated with security cameras.

Cleanliness issues

Cleanliness is key to the grocery store business model. Making sure the meat and fish departments are thoroughly cleaned according to the mandatory schedule can help prevent the spread of bacteria. This is true for hot food counters, bakeries, and anywhere else in your supermarket food is prepared.

Even on the sales floor, dirty floors can hurt revenue. Customers don’t want to shop for food especially in a less than pristine environment.

Spinx uses Solink to track cleanliness across dozens of locations and to pinpoint locations that require more attention.

To see how Solink can help you keep your stores clean and inviting, sign up for a demo today.

Customer injury liability

Unlike most retail locations, the sales volume of a supermarket necessitates replenishing shelves during operating hours. This can open up a grocery store to customer injury liabilities. For example, an employee is moving an empty pallet when someone asks to be directed to an item on the shelf. The unattended pallet is now a tripping hazard.

Slip-and-falls due to wet floors are another injury risk. It’s important to make sure that employees always put out wet floor signs during inclement weather or after cleaning up broken merchandise.

Veterans of America-Michigan does just that. The head office checks that every store has wet floor signs out whenever the weather report calls for rain. They then conduct follow-up calls to stores that aren’t compliant.

To see how Solink can reduce injury risks in your store, sign up for a demo today.

Solink helps you filter events that happen within your commercial business

Learn how easy it is to uncover suspicious cash handling in our self-guided tour.

Solink’s video analytics and surveillance for grocery stores makes it easy to create a safe, secure, and healthy environment.

Schedule a 30-minute product demo with our experts

Employee injury risks

Employee injuries are also common in grocery stores. Meat grinders, bone saws, deli slicers, and box cutters are some of the dangerous equipment that supermarket employees need to use everyday.

Often injuries are due to employees not appreciating just how much riskier a shortcut can be. For example, an employee who has used a pallet raised by a forklift or hand-jack as a step-stool hundreds of times might not realize how lucky they were to avoid injury previously.

Your goal here first and foremost is to keep your employees safe. However, it can also affect your bottom line. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations can be expensive, so using grocery store security cameras to audit your business for regulatory compliance makes sense financially as well.

To see how Solink helps you find and eliminate OSHA violations, sign up for a demo today.

Training shortfalls

Training issues can lead to many different problems. For example, employees can be facilitating discount abuse unintentionally because they have not been properly trained on how to handle high-risk transactions (discounts, voids, returns, etc.).

In addition, many employee and customer injuries can be traced back to initial non-compliance with procedures. Employees get busy with a different project or try to cut corners to catch up during a busy shift. This can lead to injuries.

Human price errors

Human pricing errors come in two forms. First, employees physically price or discount items improperly. Second, data errors are made when inputting the price in the POS system. In both cases, the result is customers paying the wrong price for their purchase. This is one form of operational shrink.

Solink helps you filter events that happen within your commercial business

Learn how easy it is to uncover suspicious cash handling in our self-guided tour.

Solink’s video analytics and surveillance for grocery stores makes it easy to create a safe, secure, and healthy environment.

Schedule a 30-minute product demo with our experts

Top coverage spots for cameras to mitigate grocery store risks and overall theft

Grocery stores need a lot of security cameras to adequately cover their large footprint. In addition, the high shelves lining every aisle make it hard to cover some areas with fisheye security cameras, pushing the total number required even higher.

Here are all the places you should position grocery store security cameras.

Inside and outside entrances and exits

Cameras inside and outside of all entrances and exits provide clear images of faces in case theft occurs. They also provide deterrence value as they can be clearly seen by every person entering your grocery store.

Security camera coverage of doors also allows you to utilize them as a security system. Solink Video Alarms Monitoring Service outperforms traditional panel alarms head to head.

To see how Solink’s video alarms can protect your grocery store, day or night, sign up for a demo today.

At the POS

Whether employees are intentionally stealing or there are further training needs, being able to pair video with the transactions at the POS is mandatory to identify these issues.

A woman at the check out counter of a grocery store. A grocery store attendant is helping the woman pay for her items.
Covering self-checkouts

Self-checkouts have become one of the biggest challenges for loss prevention specialists in supermarkets. Positioning security cameras over every self-checkout in your grocery store can give you recourse when your clerk suspects a person is stealing. You can go back and review the video of the transaction to make sure that every item was rung through correctly.

Coverage over open areas

The produce department, and sometimes the bakery department as well, is a wide open area with lower bunker food displays. These areas can often be covered by a single 360 security camera instead of multiple turret cameras.

Views up and down every aisle

Some grocery stores choose to have security cameras facing down each aisle in both directions, while others only in alternating directions. Still others choose to only place cameras facing down the aisles that display merchandise that is likely to be stolen.

However, if your supermarket chooses to only have cameras covering high-risk merchandise, you might leave yourself open to other problems. For example, an aisle considered to be at low risk for theft might still have breakable merchandise that could lead to injuries.

security-camera-grocery-store
Inside meat, fish, etc. staging and packing areas

These departments need to be clean to protect the public from food poisoning. They also tend to have dangerous equipment such as knives and saws. It’s imperative that all health and safety regulations are followed in these areas. Security cameras make this more likely and gives management the ability to audit for regulatory compliance.

Inside walk-in freezers and fridges

Meat and cheese especially are expensive inventory items stored in coolers. That makes freezers and fridges high-risk areas for employee theft. They can be seen as more private, so an employee might think it is less likely that a manager will walk by while they are trying to steal something.

When choosing cameras for these areas, remember that, just like outdoors, the cameras need to be hardy to the temperature conditions inside a walk-in.

In the storage room

Storage areas need coverage to prevent inventory theft. They are also areas where careless practices can lead to serious injuries. Poorly stacked merchandise could fall on an employee, or employees can get injured when climbing over merchandise.

In addition, tomfoolery involving forklifts can lead to life-threatening injuries.

Covering the loading dock and receiving area

Internal theft is often equated with employee theft. However, employees are not the only people with the inside knowledge and access to steal from a company. Vendors and truck drivers have access to merchandise as it is moved from warehouses and suppliers to your grocery store.

If employees aren’t paying attention or following receiving procedures, there’s an opportunity for drivers to steal thousands of dollars worth of inventory from a loading area.

A man working in a warehouse with crates of fruit and vegetables.

Preventative measures you can take for better grocery store security overall

Other than having a perfectly set up camera security system and state-of-the-art security software like Solink helping to run your system, there are a few other ways you can also fight against theft and risk at your establishment.

Access control: Key card, biometric entry or logging entries to sensitive areas

Employ modern access control methods like keycard or biometric systems to restrict entry to authorized personnel exclusively. This advanced security measure enhances protection beyond conventional locks and keys. You can also keep a meticulous record of individuals accessing and leaving these limited zones. This comprehensive log proves invaluable in the event of an incident or security breach.

Advanced employee training

Ensuring your team is well-prepared for security is crucial as they are your first line of defense. Providing comprehensive training in security protocols equips them to handle various situations effectively. Encourage prompt reporting of any suspicious activities they notice. This proactive approach enhances security measures and helps prevent potential incidents. This is especially important in key areas of the store such as the points of sale and self-checkout areas.

Customer security awareness

Informing your customers about security measures is key to enhancing safety during their shopping experience. Utilize signage and announcements by deploying visible signs and announcements throughout your store to educate customers about security protocols. Encourage them to report any suspicious behavior they notice, fostering a collaborative effort in maintaining a secure environment.

Offer easily monitored shopping carts or baskets to deter theft and ensure the safety of merchandise. This proactive approach contributes to a secure shopping environment, reassuring customers of their safety.

Visibility and lighting around the store

Ensuring your store is well-lit both inside and outside serves as a straightforward yet powerful deterrent against criminal activity. 

Ample lighting plays a crucial role in dissuading potential thieves from engaging in illicit activities. Maintain well-lit conditions across all store areas, with particular attention to the parking lot and other high-risk zones.

Opt for open and uncluttered store layouts, facilitating clear lines of sight for employees and security personnel. This design approach enables swift identification and resolution of any issues that may arise, bolstering overall security measures.

Solink connects your security cameras to other sources of data, including your POS. This creates an improved security net for your supermarket.

To see how Solink protects supermarkets, sign up for a demo today.

Solink helps you filter events that happen within your commercial business

Learn how easy it is to uncover suspicious cash handling in our self-guided tour.

Solink’s video analytics and surveillance for grocery stores makes it easy to create a safe, secure, and healthy environment.

Schedule a 30-minute product demo with our experts

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Timothy Warelinked in icon email icon

Solink stands at the forefront of security solutions, excelling in loss prevention and asset protection for businesses. Our content is rich in industry expertise and crafted to provide actionable insights and innovative strategies. We empower businesses to enhance their security systems, optimize operations, and protect their assets more effectively. Discover how our advanced cloud video management system can transform your security approach.