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Security Systems For Supermarkets

Whether you own a small corner shop or a multi-chain supermarket, you need to secure your business against threats such as damages and burglaries due to an increase in retail crime over the years.

Supermarkets are big businesses that are lucrative targets for criminals with lots of inventory and a large number of transactions carried out every single day. And that, coupled with poor security measures, makes them an even more attractive target.

In recent news, a large amount of cash was stolen by two armed men from a Co-operative supermarket in North Yorkshire.

Such threats aren’t the only security challenge faced by supermarket owners and managers. They have to protect their money, inventory, property, and even the security of their employees and customers from both external and internal threats.

There are also countless instances of disgruntled employees stealing from supermarket tills like this one here who took more than £6,000.

There are cases of shoplifting, vandalism, anti-social behaviour, and hate crime that don’t just affect the businesses financially but also have a huge impact on their employees’ and customers’ safety and well-being.

What can be done to minimise such threats? There are many security measures that supermarket owners can take such as installing security systems to not just deter criminals but also help catch them if they choose to act upon their ill intent.

Read on to find out why supermarkets need security and the best security systems to not just make their customers and employees feel safe but also save the owners a lot of money in the long run:


Supermarkets are large retail areas that hold huge stocks of valuable inventory. They have all kinds of things ranging from food to household supplies, equipment, tools, and machinery.

Creating a comprehensive security plan to prevent mishaps from happening may prove extremely beneficial to supermarket owners and managers.

Supermarkets are targeted for crimes such as theft, burglaries, break-ins, and shoplifting. These are major challenges faced by almost all retailers, with supermarkets facing a high degree of loss due to them.

Smash and grab crimes involving forced entry and stealing merchandise are also common occurrences usually carried out when the supermarket is closed and empty during the night.

Aggression and abuse towards supermarket employees and fellow customers may also result in a negative shopping experience with people actively avoiding visiting the supermarket in question.

They may also be faced with vandalism which includes graffiti and damaged property, usually done “just for fun”.

In addition to the interior of the supermarket, the exterior areas such as the car park may also be susceptible to unauthorised access which, if not controlled, may put customers at risk and can give rise to car theft.


There are various types of security systems that supermarkets can benefit from in securing their inventory, property, employees, and customers from security risks. They are:


CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) cameras are one of the most popular security systems used by businesses and homeowners around the world.

More and more people are trusting CCTV cameras to help keep an eye on their property and, most importantly, deter criminals.

Since supermarkets are constructed over a large area, keeping a check on every corner can be somewhat of a challenge, which shoplifters take advantage of.

Supermarket CCTV cameras don’t just deter criminals but also help catch them, and this fear of getting recorded and apprehended prevents shoplifters from stealing valuable inventory.

This goes for all kinds of security threats including break-ins, violence, and abuse towards supermarket staff.

In addition to that, CCTV cameras also help supermarket owners and managers keep a check on their employees and their performance.

If no one is watching, they may be tempted to sleep on the job, steal inventory from the store and money from tills, or give discounts to people by not scanning items.

Knowing that they are being monitored on the job will ensure they dutifully carry out their responsibilities and are true to their employers.

Video surveillance systems may also help with crowd control in supermarkets, which can be extremely helpful during these times with the COVID-19 pandemic and having to enforce social distancing in all public and private places.

CCTV cameras also help supermarket owners and managers by providing verification during disputes between employees and customers about pricing, returns, or exchanges.

The recorded CCTV footage may instantly be checked to see who is at fault and the dispute may easily be resolved without it escalating out of control.

CCTV footage is a legitimate piece of evidence that doesn’t just aid with disputes but may also help the law enforcement agencies in identifying and catching the perpetrators of a serious crime committed in the vicinity of the supermarket.

Proper placement of the CCTV cameras plays a huge part in how effective they are. It is best to run a thorough risk assessment of the supermarket which will not just help identify the high-risk areas but also help you choose the best type of CCTV camera for your requirements.

Inside the supermarket, they must be installed in a way that they cover the maximum area. The most common installation points are all the entrances and exits, near the cash registers, in all the different aisles, especially ones that don’t have a clear view from the front, the storage areas, and the supermarket car park.

When installing CCTV cameras, you must ensure they are of good quality and allow recording clear footage that can be used to detect criminals if need be.

For that, you need to check the camera’s resolution and picture quality, which can be anywhere between 720p to 4K. The higher the resolution, the clearer the picture.

Some other important features to look out for include motion sensors, the field of view, night vision, notification alerts, professional CCTV monitoring, storage options, facial recognition, weather and vandal resistance, built-in alarms, and integration with other security systems.


All retail stores and supermarkets have theft-prone areas such as secure cash offices and storage rooms that are susceptible to external and internal theft.

It is very important to secure these areas from unauthorised access using secure locking mechanisms. However, due to high employee turnover and with the traditional lock and key system, it may be expensive to rekey or replace the locks every time an employee leaves.

That’s where access control systems come in. Access control systems are keyless entry systems that offer a secure, reliable, and cost-effective solution for controlling unauthorised access.

They work using various authentication methods such as access cards and biometrics, where the credentials are verified against a saved database to grant or deny access.

Access control systems are much more secure than traditional keys that can be easily copied and shared, and they simplify the management process by allowing the users to access multiple doors at multiple locations, all with a centralised and remote administration.

Managing permissions becomes easier with access control systems and any changes may be done instantly and from absolutely anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection.

If an employee leaves, you can simply delete their credentials from the system which would automatically revoke their access privileges. It’s as simple as that!

What’s more is that access control systems allow you to track the access of the users, something that is not possible using traditional locks and keys.

You can check which user accessed which area and at what time, along with any failed attempts that were made.

The log of events gives employers more control and knowledge over who is accessing the restricted areas of the supermarket and at what times, and helps them know if an employee is habitually late to work.

In the event of a security incident, such as inventory theft, the accurate records provided by the system help put together a timeline that helps trace who had access to the area where the incident occurred, along with precise timestamps.

Some of the most common types of authentication methods used in access control systems include access cards, keypad/pin code, biometrics, smart locks, and remote access.

Out of these, biometrics and smart locks are the most secure forms of authentication methods available. While both cards and pins can be lost or shared, biometrics eliminate all such issues since it uses your unique biological features such as fingerprints, retina scans, and facial recognition to grant access.

Remote access or smart locks give users the ability to control the locks from a remote location. Instead of being near the locking mechanism, they can use their smartphone, tablet, or computer to lock or unlock a door.

For added security, you may also enable two-factor authentication where two forms of authentication are required to verify your identity.


Burglar alarms are an integral part of any security system that is made up of sensors that go off as soon as any unusual activity is detected.

What makes them so effective is their ability to pick up minor discrepancies and sound an alarm to alert everyone nearby of what happened.

The detection, along with all the attention that the blaring alarms bring, makes burglar alarms a part of the top three security systems for supermarkets that include CCTV cameras and access control systems.

They can be placed on all the entrances and exits, along with the restricted areas around the supermarket and can be very helpful in detecting instances of break-ins during both the day and night time.

You may opt for a bells-only burglar alarm that makes a loud noise, sometimes accompanied by flashing lights, to alert the people nearby of the intrusion. These are unmonitored systems that are best used for smaller, lower-risk supermarkets without a significant amount of valuable content to protect.

Dialler burglar alarms offer a higher level of response guarantee than bells-only systems since, in addition to sounding a loud alarm, they automatically contact the supermarket owners, managers, or whoever’s nominated to be contacted in the event of an alarm trigger.

For maximum protection and to ensure that no intrusion goes undetected, especially during the night when the property is empty, you may opt for professional alarm monitoring services where the system is connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) manned by professionals monitoring the system.

The alarms are first verified and, depending on the type of contract – keyholder or police response – the relevant people or authorities are contacted right away.

With smart burglar alarms, you can use an app on your smartphone or tablet to receive instant notifications whenever any suspicious activity is detected. They also allow you to remotely control the system from your phone and connect all compatible devices including security cameras, lights, and other sensors.


Other than CCTV cameras, access control systems, and burglar alarm systems, there are a few more security measures that you can take to maximise supermarket security. They include:

Drop safes

Commercial drop safes, also called deposit safes, are a type of security safe installed in various commercial settings to safeguard cash and important documents from thieves and burglars.

They are extremely secure and usually bolted to the floor or wall, making it impossible for both thieves and disgruntled employees to open or move them without authorised access.

Under counter and desk drop safes are a great choice for supermarkets since they deal with a regular inflow of cash and need a way to hide all the money from direct view.

Security lighting

There is a reason the dark is associated with evil. It provides the perfect cover to commit crimes without attracting attention and getting caught.

Motion sensor security lights installed along the perimeter of the supermarket, including the car park, will help detect intrusions and any illegal activity by instantly lighting up as soon as someone walks under them.

LED security lights are a great investment for supermarket security since they are efficient, easy to install, highly durable, cost-effective, and environment-friendly.

Putting up warning signs

Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of a warning to scare away potential thieves and criminals. Therefore, along with installing all the required security systems such as CCTV cameras and burglar alarms, make sure you put up signage to let them know that your property is protected.

In addition to that, according to CCTV laws, it is a legal obligation for you as a supermarket owner or manager to inform the people that they are being monitored.

If you are monitoring your employees, they have to be made aware of it in writing and explained the reasons behind it.

Training employees

Employees are an integral part of any business which is why it is extremely important to train them on all the best security practices to ensure maximum protection for your supermarket.

They need to be given proper training on how to use security systems and how to deal with situations such as theft, burglaries, break-ins, and violence.


We are professionals working in the security industry for over 40 years and our vast experience enables us to understand the various needs and requirements of different types of properties including supermarkets.

We provide a comprehensive security solution that includes not just professional installation of security systems but also their monitoring, maintenance, and repair.

We are SSAIB approved installers and follow all the best practices in the industry. We do not compromise on quality and install only high-quality, state-of-the-art security equipment.

We offer various levels of monitoring via a 24-hour monitoring centre using Dualcom and BT Redcare signalling, which is the most secure alarm monitoring system and the largest supplier of intelligent alarm signalling services in the UK.

We understand the importance of having to regularly maintain security systems since the inability to do so might result in serious faults and consequent vulnerabilities.

We provide professional maintenance checks and reminders for when the checks are due to help you stay compliant with the law, and work fast to restore your security systems to excellent condition.

We also have the resources and capability to manage national contracts for multi-site companies and can offer a variety of services including burglar alarms, CCTV systems, door entry/access control systems, fire alarms, locksmiths services, and safe and vault engineering throughout the UK as part of a national contract.

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 to talk to our experts right away!

Photo by Liviu Florescu on Unsplash