Basic Tip: Inventory prep is one of the most important steps in the inventory cycle to ensure that the physical inventory is a success. At minimum - ensure that all items have SKU tags/barcodes, items are properly placed either on the sales floor or stock room, and “Do Not Inventory” tags are used for items that do not need to be inventoried.
Advanced Tip: During inventory prep you will want to open up every box and inspect them to ensure any/all sellable merchandise is identified and placed where it can be inventoried. Come up with a sign off process (For example: date/time and name of employee) to place either in the stock room area or box to ensure ALL employees know what has and has NOT been checked prior to inventory.
Basic Tip: During the holidays, shopping centers will have increased foot traffic and thus an increased exposure to crime. Ensure that your stores and teams are prepared to face the physical security challenges such as: Emergency contacts are updated and accurate, emergency evacuation plans are reviewed, associates are not leaving stores/walking to vehicles alone (“Buddy System”), and/or emergency closing/opening procedures are reviewed.
Advanced Tip: Mall/center security can be utilized, when requested, to do walk through of stores and/or escorts of associates to/from vehicles. This can be beneficial in the event of an incident occurring at the store with a problem persons/customer.
Basic Tip: Physical security of your data (register along with company proprietary information) is equally important to physical security of people and inventory. Consider implementing a visitor/vendor policy that defines when a visitor/vendor can come into your store, what a visitor/vendor can/cannot do in your store and more importantly how they obtain access into your store.
Advanced Tip: Vendor access to your stores should be more restrictive than a “visitor,” since a visitor can be defined as a company representative or government official. Vendor access to your store should ONLY be pre-approved and should be confirmed before access is granted. For example: An approved vendor list, a contract to provide services or product to sell, a work order for repairs and/or approval from a company representative. If a vendor cannot be confirmed then they should not be granted access to the store and should be turned away immediately.