The retail industry is one of the largest sectors in the UK. It consists of over 300,000 separate businesses, employing over 3 million people and representing over 8% of all UK jobs. In 2019, retail sales in the UK were worth £439 billion – 5% of the UK’s GDP.

Despite online shipping becoming increasingly popular in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, in January 2022, only 25.3% of retail sales were done online which means that the majority of retailers are still doing most of their trade from physical outlets. Operating physical retail outlets presents an array of unique security challenges which require careful management in order to safeguard both your people and your products.

More information

Common Risks Within Retail:

Risk of shoplifting

Physical retail outlets are uniquely at risk of shoplifting. An analysis of 2019’s police data found that 359,156 shoplifting incidents were recorded in the UK – this is nearly 1,000 per day. Although considered ‘petty theft’ shoplifting still costs retailers £335 million a year in losses, yet shoplifters are only caught about once out of every 48 times they steal – just over 2% of the time.

Lone workers

many small retail outlets will be operated by only one member of staff at a time, and often at unsocial hours with low customer footfall. These lone workers are intrinsically vulnerable, whether to becoming the targets of violent crime and anti-social behaviour, or to suffering a medical emergency with no assistance nearby.

Risk of armed robbery

Armed robbery is another crime of which retailers at uniquely at risk. Not only does armed robbery often result in considerable financial losses – either from valuable products stolen from behind counters or large quantities of cash stolen from tills – it almost always results in significant trauma to staff and customers present during the incident, the effects of which are impossible to quantify. The risk of physical injury to staff and customers is also especially high.

Small outlets such as post-offices, convenience stores and petrol forecourts are the most likely to be robbed, but any retailer that:

  • Opens at night or at unsociable hours
  • Sells potentially addictive substances such as cigarettes and alcohol
  • Has few employees on duty at one time
  • Is more likely to trade in cash

Can easily become targets as well.

How the KST Group Can Help:

Surveillance cameras

Installing an effective surveillance system is the best way to both prevent shoplifting and robbery on retail premises, and maximise the chances of a successful conviction and subsequent recovery of items when shoplifting and robbery do occur. The presence of CCTV cameras can be an effective deterrent against crime as CCTV footage is one of the most common types of evidence used to identify the perpetrators and secure a conviction. CCTV cameras should be installed facing the front counter, behind the cash register and also in areas where a robber could potentially hide.


Lone worker devices

Evidence shows that outlets that are manned by a single employee, particularly during unsocial hours, are at greater risk of being targeted for robbery and shoplifting.  We are specialist suppliers of lone worker devices which are designed to support lone workers by providing discreet remote access to emergency services in the event of a robbery, or in the case of incapacitation or medical emergency whilst on shift.

Alarm systems

Intruder alarms and other integrated security solutions are vital to protecting your staff should your business become a victim of robbery. Intruder alarms will automatically call emergency services – they are also completely silent meaning they will not escalate the situation and further endanger staff/customers. Our innovative integrated security solutions – ranging from hold-up alarms, smoke-producing machines and smart water technology – are designed to deter and disrupt perpetrators even whilst a robbery is already in progress.

Certifications & Accreditations

What our Customers say

We wanted a smart-looking, contactless approach to access control here at Little Dot. We love the Openpath solution proposed by KST; it’s sleek, simple to use and has excellent reporting features. What’s more, KST’s inhouse commissioning team remotely configured the software to meet our requirements - including who goes where and when, through which doors, the reporting we need and integration to our fire alarm system. Thanks to this we have saved the cost of two days labour on install!

Greg Rochford
IT Manager - Little Dot Studios

KST has once again exceeded all expectations with their outstanding service. Safety is our number one priority for both our Post Masters and customers, therefore we are always on the lookout for new technologies and new ideas. Morphean platforms, along with the installation and maintenance provided by KST, has been the perfect decision for us due to our existing knowledge of their excellent services and competitive prices.

Mark Dinsdale
Security Programme Manager - Post Office Ltd

The mobilisation was smooth with little involvement required from ourselves. Communication, in particular, has been extremely strong with regular meetings. Monthly management information has been circulated and Clipper are using the real time management information that KST have provided with their DYMENSiON software. We also have working action plans on each site focusing on improvements and change management. All in all I would be happy to recommend KST to any company looking at contract award; our experience has been very positive and I am happy to endorse them.

John Welsh
Head of Bonded & Secure Operations - Clipper

The whole process of mobilisation and onboarding to KST was conducted in an exceptional manner, from start to finish. The preparation for the move between City Plumbing Supplies and KST was comprehensive. Collaboration was very good. The days of transfer were event free and smooth - with no major issues. The branches’ onboarding onto the KST system during the 12 weeks following the mobilisation was completed fully with excellent communication sessions conducted on a weekly basis. We are now looking forward to a long and effective partnership with KST.

Steve Kemp
Security, Audit & Loss Prevention Manager - City Plumbing Supplies

We’ve been delighted with the partnership between ISS and KST and the approach to transferring the access control contract. The teams have gelled quickly to understand our estate and we’ve seen significant service improvements.

Andy Southern
Head of Security - Santander Bank