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A customer slipping, a burst pipe, sewer backup, electrical surge, robbery, or an employee issue can each disrupt your customers' shopping experience. Ward off these interruptions by scanning your retail space for any potential hazards or threats, and by making certain you have the proper insurance coverage to help you bounce back from many unforeseen circumstances.
- Shield Your Data. When was the last time you backed up your data? Do you have surge protection? Retailers must protect their computer systems from in-store catastrophes like a power surge, as well as from the schemes of hackers who could access your system remotely and steal your customer data.
- Discourage Robbers. Be sure you are not setting up inviting spaces for would-be robbers. Install surveillance cameras. Post signs detailing your store policy that only small amounts of cash are kept in the register. Use a drop safe that allows employees to place large bills and excess cash inside, but not retrieve it. Removing the possibility of a large payout from a robbery may serve as a deterrent.
- Prevent Slips, Trips or Falls. Slips, trips and falls are another top cause of loss for small retailers, so take steps to remove potential hazards. Address any change in elevation you find on the floor. Install slip-resistant strips on stairs and try to draw attention to them. Repair any cracks, holes or tears in flooring, and replace worn carpeting.
- Light It Up. Insufficient lighting can be an accident waiting to happen, as a rip in the carpet or merchandise on the floor could be more difficult to see, and cause a customer or employee to trip. Dark corners also can provide hiding spots for criminal behavior.
- ID Your Water Shut-off. Water damage is one of the top drivers for loss among small retailers. Know where your water valve shut-offs are — oftentimes, they may not even be in your retail space, instead locked behind a door that only maintenance personnel know how to access. That's not a good situation should a pipe burst or other water emergency occur. Train your employees how to respond and where to find the shut-off.
- Control Your Keys. To protect your stock and space from unauthorized access and thieves, be strict in managing who has access to keys. Too many keys floating around raises the risk of one falling into the wrong hands.
Find more strategies to protect your store in CNA's special retail report.
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