15.02.2024 • TopstoriesRetail

Latest in Retail Security: Experts Explain

In our special focus, we ask three questions on security for retail to five experts: Johannes Faber, Regional Sales Manager DACH at Optex; Ross Wilks, Global Head of Marketing Communications at Acre Security; Steve Green, Business Development Manager at Genetec; Muhammad Sheikh, Regional Sales Director, Middle East at Briefcam; Pread Um (Suk Bong), Product and Marketing ­Director at Hanwha Vision Europe.

f.l.t.r. Ross Wilks, Muhammad Sheikh, Steve Green, Pread Um (Suk Bong),...
f.l.t.r. Ross Wilks, Muhammad Sheikh, Steve Green, Pread Um (Suk Bong), Johannes Faber

1. What challenges are specific for retail security projects and what benefits can a user derive from a good system?
2. How do you handle the conflict between privacy protection in public areas and security needs of retail stores using your technology?
3. Please describe a success case where your products and solutions are used for a retail project.

Johannes Faber, Regional Sales Manager DACH at Optex:

1. Each retail store has its own individual requirements and challenges that need to be carefully considered. A multi-layered approach to security is recommended. Perimeter protection is especially important for larger sites or out-of-town shopping malls, with remote monitoring to detect and prevent vandalism and theft. Protecting the building and store façade is critical to detect any potential break-ins through windows, ceilings, and doors. In-store security is equally crucial; integrated detection sensors, cameras, and surveillance systems can help to detect and prevent shoplifting as well as protect staff and customers from physical harm. Whatever the system specified, the principal benefit is the protection of people, assets and ultimately your bottom line.  

2. Our portfolio of highly accurate and reliable sensing solutions is specifically designed to detect motion and does not collect or store any sensitive or personal data. Thanks to intelligent detection algorithms and logic, our sensors can distinguish between genuine intrusions and nuisance false alarms, with customizable detection zones, to suit the needs of different retail settings. The sensors can be seamlessly integrated with wider retail security systems, such as CCTV or surveillance systems that can be used to help identify intruders.  

3. Our sensors have been deployed at thousands of retail sites across Europe. One such example is a leading electronics business, with over 1,000 locations across Europe. At one of their city centre stores they needed to protect a narrow passage between the front window and roller shutters. As the passage was too narrow to be covered by surveillance cameras, and as cameras would not comply with privacy regulations, LiDAR provided the ideal solution. Our RLS-2020I sensor was installed inside the store on the ceiling, creating a virtual wall that accurately detects anyone attempting to access the store. Thanks to the sensor’s reliability and flexibility, they have since been rolled out across multiple locations for the business.


Ross Wilks, Global Head of Marketing Communications at Acre Security:

1. Retailers face evolving challenges including escalating crime, manpower constraints, rising thefts, and staff safety concerns. To combat these issues, access control systems are increasingly crucial. These systems not only deter criminal activities but also enhance the safety of both staff and customers, while improving operational efficiency. The integration of advanced technologies, such as touchless access control, AI, and biometrics, elevates the customer experience but also streamlines store operations. In a rapidly changing retail landscape, robust security solutions are vital in preventing losses and maintaining a secure, efficient shopping environment.

2. In retail, balancing customer privacy with security is vital. Access control systems are key, limiting data access to essential staff and securing sensitive areas like stockrooms and cash zones to prevent theft. Retailers should gather only crucial data, being transparent with customers about its use. Strong cybersecurity and data storage is also critical to protect customer information. Regularly updating security and privacy policies is also essential to ensure a safe shopping environment while respecting privacy, effectively guarding both physical and digital assets in retail settings.

3. ICA Sweden, a leading grocery retailer, faced the challenge of extending opening hours to cater to its customer base during early mornings and evenings. To avoid the costs of hiring new staff for these shifts, they adopted a staffless operating model. To ensure safety and satisfy insurance requirements, they implemented Acre security’s ACT365 cloud-based access control and video management system. This system integrates with Mobile BankID for electronic identification, allowing customers to use phones for entry, and includes a card reader for added convenience. The system‘s deployment across ICA Sweden‘s network has enabled extended opening hours at local stores, enhancing customer experience while ensuring security and maximizing profits.


Steve Green, Business Development Manager at Genetec:

1. Retailers are facing multiple challenges today – the use of self-service checkouts leading to increased loss and shrinkage and increased threat of attacks and violence on colleagues being prevalent in the current economy. To exacerbate these issues, security systems are often a mismatch of disparate legacy packages that limit the ability to react quickly and let colleagues make swift decisions on incidents. This delay in decision-making puts the safety of people in the venue at risk. Adopting a truly ‘unified’ approach, where the multiple elements of video, access control, intrusion detection and alarm management are presented in a single, connected, software interface, empowers teams to make critical decisions quickly and easily with a response that can also be guided by standard operating procedures that deliver a pre-planned, collaborative, and safest course of action.

2. Customers need to be informed with signage at the venue. Facial recognition, for example, needs to be backed up by explanations on how metadata is stored, encrypted, and processed. The same goes for CCTV footage that must be stored in case of an investigation. In the case that a person makes a ‘subject access request’ where the venue is obligated to hand over footage of the person, Genetec Clearance, a digital evidence management system that simplifies sharing footage using the Cloud, is essential for a quick resolution. Clearance will also anonymise faces in shared footage and on public display monitors in the control room to protect bystander’s privacy.

3. A great example is Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, the owner of two of Europe’s largest shopping centres. What’s really impressive is how they’ve incorporated Genetec Security Center into a five-year plan that enables them to keep innovating and driving further efficiencies year-on-year. What started out as a plan to enhance security has since grown to incorporate improvements to operations, decision-making and even processes for compliance.


Muhammad Sheikh, Regional Sales Director, Middle East at Briefcam:

1. Retail security is being challenged to shift from reactive security to proactive prevention strategies. When combatting shrinkage, for instance, retailers need not only to pinpoint suspects with ease, but also to mitigate future incidents by uncovering insight regarding how and when people are gaining access to restricted or high value areas. Retailers seeking to derive the most value from their video surveillance investments need a comprehensive platform or integrated solutions that support traditional security needs while providing data-driven business intelligence that can flexibly scale with company growth across multiple sites.

2. When integrating any technology, users must ensure their planned implementation complies with relevant local regulations, ethical values, and their company’s best practices. A key tenet of responsible use of surveillance technology is transparently communicating to customers when and where they are in use. To support our end users, Briefcam includes tools within its software to support customers’ compliance practice, enabling control of data management settings, empowering customizable data protection, and supporting licensing options that include or exclude face recognition so users can balance on-site security needs with the critical right of personal privacy protection.

3. Malls across the region successfully power their data-driven strategy with Briefcam video analytics and -business intelligence capabilities. For instance, when planning a major retail event, mall management analyzes aggregated footfall and path visualizations to determine which brands were critical to an event’s success, helping management prioritize inclusion and placement for future events. A similar strategy is used for lease negotiations. Because the mall can provide specific footfall and demographic data for locations throughout the property, management is not only empowered to direct successful placement but can also give retailers confidence in opening a new location based on concrete data.


Pread Um (Suk Bong), Product and Marketing ­Director at Hanwha Vision Europe:

1. Retailers have always relied on video to enforce loss prevention strategies. Now, however, they are increasingly calling on AI-enabled video for uses beyond security, including leveraging the technology to optimise store layouts, support display decisions and manage queues.

2. The need to balance protection for stores and the privacy of consumers is important and can be achieved using technology. De-identifying people captured on video, for example, is easily achieved using masking technology that redacts faces from video sequences. This also helps retailers comply with GDPR.

3. Hanwha Vision video cameras are used across a network of global fast-food restaurants to understand how long orders are taking to place and complete. With these valuable insights, managers can improve processes, enhance the customer experience, and boost revenues by serving more customers with greater efficiency.


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