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How Long Do Supermarkets Keep CCTV Footage?

A grocery store with a lot of food on display.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

CCTV footage in supermarkets plays a vital role in security and operational management. The duration of video retention is a critical decision influenced by a variety of factors. Solink offers versatile video retention solutions that are customizable to the specific needs of the supermarket industry.

See how Solink can complete your CCTV security system.

A grocery store with a lot of food on display.

What is video retention?

Video retention is the process of storing surveillance footage for a predetermined duration. This process is essential for supermarkets, as it involves balancing legal requirements, storage capabilities, and unique business needs. 

Solink provides innovative solutions in this area, enabling supermarkets to store footage in high-definition (HD) and/or standard definition (SD) for any length of time required.

Why do supermarkets retain CCTV video footage?

Supermarkets use CCTV footage for several critical reasons:

  • Loss prevention: Supermarkets monitor and address shoplifting and theft incidents. This footage helps in identifying perpetrators and understanding theft patterns.
  • Employee oversight: Monitoring staff adherence to store policies and detecting internal theft are crucial. CCTV helps in maintaining integrity within the workforce.
  • Customer safety: Maintaining customer safety is paramount. Surveillance footage is used to monitor for hazardous situations and respond promptly.
  • Quality assurance: Supermarkets use CCTV to oversee product handling and maintain high quality standards across their offerings.
  • Operational efficiency: Analyzing customer flow and behavior is vital for optimizing store layout and operations, enhancing the overall shopping experience.
  • Legal compliance: Supermarkets may have a legal obligation to retain footage for certain periods. This compliance is vital for legal and insurance purposes.
  • Incident analysis: Investigating and resolving accidents or disputes within the store is crucial for maintaining a safe shopping environment.
  • Staff training and evaluation: Footage is used for employee training and performance reviews, ensuring high standards of service and operation.
  • Marketing insights: Understanding customer preferences and shopping patterns is key for marketing strategies. CCTV footage provides valuable insights in this area, especially with Solink Heatmaps.
  • Conflict resolution: Video evidence is often used to settle disputes involving customers or staff, ensuring fair and unbiased resolutions.
  • Fraud detection: Identifying and preventing fraudulent activities, especially at checkout points, is essential for loss prevention.
  • Emergency procedures: Footage assists in emergency response and evacuation procedures, ensuring customer and staff safety during critical situations.
  • Inventory management: Monitoring stock levels and preventing inventory shrinkage are key aspects of retail management.
  • Store design optimization: Planning store layout and displays based on customer interaction and movement patterns is facilitated by CCTV footage.

Solink’s system is not limited to predefined retention periods or qualities. It offers supermarkets the flexibility to store their footage in high definition (HD) for incidents that require a high level of detail to resolve and/or in standard definition (SD) for longer-term monitoring when storage capacity might be an issue. 


This customizable approach allows supermarkets to decide the best strategy for their needs, ensuring that every scenario, from immediate issue resolution to long-term trend analysis, is covered.

Exploring the benefits of different storage durations

The duration of CCTV footage retention is a crucial decision in supermarket management, with different lengths serving specific needs. Solink’s video retention system offers customizable storage options, from one month to one year or longer, as well as the option to store any needed footage in the cloud forever. 

This section examines the distinct benefits of these durations, showcasing how supermarkets can optimize their operations and security strategies using Solink’s tailored solutions.

Short-term storage

Short-term HD storage by Solink is tailored for immediate, detailed analysis. The benefits of storing HD footage, even for two weeks or a month, include the following:

  • Rapid access to high-quality footage, crucial for resolving issues swiftly.
  • Clear, detailed visual quality, essential for analyzing recent events or incidents.
  • Effective for capturing unexpected events requiring immediate review.

Here are some example use cases for short-term local video storage:

  • Resolving recent customer complaints or disputes promptly.
  • Investigating theft or accidents that occur over a short timeframe.
  • Analyzing unexpected operational disruptions.

Medium-term storage

Longer-term video storage, even if only in SD,  is ideal for issues that unfold over time. Here are some of the potential benefits:

  • Extended retention, crucial for identifying trends or issues that develop gradually.
  • Balanced storage solution, optimizing quality and space for cost-effective management.
  • Suitable for ongoing surveillance of operational processes and customer interactions.

Here are some example use cases for longer-term local video storage:

  • Monitoring evolving customer or employee behaviors over weeks or months.
  • Reviewing ongoing operational or inventory issues for better management.
  • Assessing marketing campaign effectiveness over a medium-term period.

Indefinite storage in the cloud

Solink’s cloud storage offers indefinite retention for crucial footage. Here are some of the ways supermarkets benefit from keeping their important CCTV footage indefinitely:

  • Permanent and secure storage of vital footage, accessible at any time.
  • Reliable, offsite backup, ensuring data safety and integrity against local disasters.
  • Ideal for archiving significant incidents for long-term analysis or legal purposes.

Here are some use cases for indefinite cloud video storage using Solink:

  • Archiving footage of major incidents for long-term review and analysis.
  • Retaining legal evidence for extended periods as required by law or for audits.
  • Storing valuable operational data for historical analysis and business insights.

Solink’s innovative approach, integrating cloud video surveillance with point-of-sale (POS) data, revolutionizes restaurant metrics reporting. This technology eliminates the need for a text inserter, seamlessly pairing transaction data with video footage, offering a multitude of benefits:

  • Seamless integration: Provides a cohesive view by linking transaction data with corresponding video footage, enhancing the accuracy and context of the data.
  • Fraud detection: The ability to quickly identify discrepancies between transactions and video footage aids in preventing losses due to fraud or errors.
  • Operational insights: Gaining visual context to transaction data offers a deeper understanding of operational efficiency and customer interactions.
  • Customer behavior analysis: Observing customer behavior through video enhances the ability to tailor services and improve the dining experience.
  • Staff training and management: Video footage from restaurant security cameras serves as a valuable tool for staff training, helping to improve service quality and efficiency.

The duration for which supermarkets keep their CCTV footage is a strategic decision influenced by a variety of factors. Solink’s flexible video retention solutions empower supermarkets with the freedom to choose their preferred retention periods, whether short, medium, or indefinite. 

This adaptability, coupled with the options for HD, SD, and cloud storage, equips supermarkets to effectively manage any situation, establishing Solink as an essential partner in supermarket management.

To see how Solink can help your supermarkets, sign up for a demo today.