Did you catch this recent article on CNN.com? The gist of it is that in the wake of COVID-19, the grocery store security guard is becoming an increasingly common sight.
You may have seen a security guard last time you went to the store searching (probably in vain) for some toilet paper and hand sanitizer. If so, were you surprised to see a security guard? Did the sight of the security guard make you anxious, or was it reassuring?
If you manage a store, you may be wondering whether it’s time for you to look into hiring a grocery store security guard. We’re here to help you clarify your thoughts around this decision.
Don’t Be Alarmed by the Sight of a Guard
First things first: hiring a grocery store security guard isn’t a decision to be made only by people who run stores in gang-infested or crime-riddled areas. And it’s not necessarily a sign that the store owner thinks there will be violence or any other type of crime in the near future.
On the contrary, it’s often a precaution. We believe it’s a very smart one, especially in the wake of COVID-19.
Thanks to certain people who panicked and hoarded certain key items, everyone else is a little on edge. Nobody wants to run out of the household supplies they use every day. And so when we hear that these items are once again available, we tend to rush to the nearest location so that we can be first in line to replenish our supplies.
The trouble is, we’ll probably run into hundreds more people who had the same idea. And sometimes even perfectly reasonable people who have no intention of committing violence may feel their tempers flare up as people cut in front of them.
In this kind of situation, hiring a grocery store security guard is a great idea. The mere presence of that guard can calm everyone’s nerves and reassure them that there’s no need to push others out of the way for that pack of toilet paper—an orderly process is being followed.
And then there’s social distancing.
Many stores are posting signs asking shoppers to maintain a distance of at least six feet between themselves and other customers. Some are even limiting the number of patrons who can be in the store at any time. But we all know that not everyone heeds these instructions.
In an age of “the customer is always right,” most shop staff aren’t comfortable confronting shoppers and asking them to change their behavior. They’re worried about pushback. They’re worried about losing a sale. Having a grocery store security guard there to intervene takes the pressure off everyone. Your staff can simply relax and focus on their jobs—and shoppers are far more likely to obey a uniformed guard anyway.
Choosing the Right Guard for Your Store
So, if you think you may need to hire a grocery store security guard, here’s something to consider.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that not all security guards have the same qualifications. Some are minimally trained. Others are retired law enforcement professionals who have years of experience handling every imaginable situation. The latter come at a higher hourly fee, but you get far more for your money.
If you’re simply trying to present the appearance of order in your store, you may only need a basic security guard. But if you’re legitimately concerned about crime and potential violence at your location, do not settle for less than a retired or off-duty policeman as your grocery store security guard.
We at Creative Security would love to walk you through your options. Give us a call to let us know how we can help keep you safe.