C-Stores aren’t just convenient for customers; they’re also convenient to operate. Low labor costs and non-perishable merchandise often make C-stores an attractive franchise model. However, that convenience often comes with a price: security.
C-stores are particularly vulnerable to theft, both internal and external, because of the long hours, limited staff, and the valuable merchandise on display. As the industry changes, these vulnerabilities will become even more pronounced, and using advanced video surveillance will become a crucial component of operating a C-Store. Here’s why:
In the coming years, C-store operators will take advantage of improved customer facing technology to further automate their operations, thereby reducing labor costs and increasing their profits. This trend has already been fully realized with Amazon Go, a supermarket that features a “Just Walk Out Shopping Experience” with no lines or cashiers. In addition, Specialty retail kiosks in corporate cafeterias and airports are also offering similar services.
C-stores that take advantage of self-service food kiosks are also early adopters in this race towards automation, and they have seen it pay dividends.
While this move towards automation will reduce costs and boost profits, it may also initially increase the likelihood of theft, due to the lack of employee presence. To compensate for this, operators should adopt an advanced loss prevention solution. Visible surveillance systems are an incredibly effective theft deterrent. A visible and robust camera system can therefore compensate for the increased likelihood of theft that operational automation entails. If theft does occur, video surveillance can help identify suspects.
Automating the C-store industry will also involve logistical challenges that a loss prevention system can anticipate and mitigate though the use of data analyses. Loss prevention tools like DTT’s CloudQuery™ offer operators valuable insight into which locations and products are most susceptible to theft, as well as to which products will sell best in an automated environment. Operators should use this information to get ahead of the curve, and thereby prepare their locations for self-service checkouts.
A managed loss prevention system from DTT is itself partially automated, because it uses exception based reporting and transaction data to detect theft, instead of constant human monitoring. Once theft is detected, users can easily review the appropriate footage and take action. DTT is a robust loss prevention solution that is also a long-term cost (and time) saving measure.
While automating your stores’ operations may seem intimidating, DTT can help mitigate this anxiety with 2/47/365 U.S. based customer support. In addition, our business consulting group offers users free business operations advice from trained consultants, who often have a background in the restaurant industry.
If you’re interested in learning more about DTT, or in speaking with a Business Consultant, please contact us directly at 800.933.8388.