Blog
02.06.22

Dark Store Security: 10 Reasons to Invest in Security

As retail stores are trending down, dark stores are springing up all over the country. These are stores more like warehouses that operate only for delivery of online purchases. The lower operational cost and growth of ecommerce shopping mean these operations have a definite part in the future of retail.

Despite the absence of public shoppers, there are plenty of good reasons to maintain high security standards in your dark store. After all, two-thirds of theft in standard retail stores can be attributed to the employees, according to an NRF Survey. Here we’ll look at the benefits and costs of upgrading your warehouse security.

Need for Speed

Fast order processing and delivery is critical to keep your customers happy. If you use inefficient security measures like conventional lock and key systems to control access to inventory, it can slow down your operations and lead to delivery delays.

Dark stores need modern security procedures to improve fulfillment efficiency. Instead of using lockable security cages that delay access to goods, you can employ an autonomous access control solution like the Alcatraz AI to streamline your operations. Alcatraz AI authenticates a user’s face in real-time, granting authorized personnel instant access to secured spaces.

Employee Theft

Seasonal workers are not the only perpetrators of internal theft. A whopping 75% of employees admit to stealing from their employers at least once. Employee theft costs businesses $50 billion every year. The holiday season can be financially stressful. The pressure to spend can tempt some employees to steal.

Alcatraz AI helps dark stores create a zero-trust environment to protect your holiday inventory from dishonest employees. In addition to setting access levels for each employee, our solution can also block collusion with third parties. With long scanning ranges and large field views, the Alcatraz Rock detects piggybacking and notifies administrators to prevent inventory thefts.

New COVID Variants

Although offering solid protection against the original strain of the virus, it’s still unclear how effective COVID vaccines are against emerging variants. At least 16,700 vaccinated Americans have died from breakthrough COVID infections. Touch-based warehouse security systems can trigger workplace outbreaks, shutting down your business.

To avoid business closure and revenue loss, dark stores can implement touchless physical security measures. Touchless security systems eliminate touchpoints to reduce the risk of contagion in your warehouse. Leveraging facial biometrics instead of using keys or entering PINS to provide access will ensure a safer workplace post-pandemic.

Highly Mobile Personnel

Unlike most warehouses where the goods are stored and transported in bulk, dark stores have products open and accessible for quick delivery to customers. Your employers or delivery contractors need to regularly come and go, and need quick access to product for delivery.

Using facial recognition access control will protect your merchandise regardless of the size of your workforce. Biometric authentication systems secure your warehouse by making sure the right people are in the right place at the right time. The technology can also help you save money by reducing the need to hire additional security guards to watch your facility.

Temporary Workers & Contractors

The gig economy is strong in America right now. Depending on the type of dark store you operate, you may have contractors through services like Instacart or Postmates coming in to fulfill orders. This could potentially be a big security risk - you don’t have the same level of familiarity with these contractors as you do with your employees. That may embolden them to walk away with merchandise they aren’t supposed to take.

Revamping your warehouse security will allow you to make the best use of contractors and temps while minimizing their risk. With a biometric access control system, you can restrict temporary workers to areas with less sensitive assets.

Mask Enforcement

Many jurisdictions are reinstating mask mandates to combat the new variants of COVID. While protecting against infection, mask-wearing poses many security risks. Because it helps conceal identity, it emboldens dishonest workers to subvert warehouse security measures. This criminal behavior can cause you significant financial damage.

With concealed identities, people can be tempted to walk right into areas they’re not authorized to be without the concern of being identified by security cameras. Dark stores must adopt biometric authentication systems to overcome the shortcomings of security cameras. Alcatraz AI verifies facial identity and enforces mask-wearing to keep your warehouse secure and compliant.

A Low Expectation of Security

Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. Criminals will strike where they think they can get away with it. And why would a place without customers need security? You can expect your employees thinking along these lines, and you should update your security to compensate.

The best way to guard dark stores against criminals is to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) at your entry points. In addition to biometric authentication, MFA systems also rely on badges or PINs to grant access to a secured location. This makes it almost impossible for unauthorized individuals to enter your facility and rob your assets. 

Vandalism and Damage

Crimes are not limited to robberies. You should also be concerned with vandalism. Vandalism may seem like a petty crime, but it can inflict considerable financial loss. In 2020, two juveniles vandalized an agricultural warehouse in Wyoming, causing more than $100,000 worth of damage. Dark stores need advanced warehouse security to keep vandals off their facilities.

Many vandals rely on tailgating to access off-limits premises. Tailgating is a security breach in which an unauthorized party enters a restricted area by following an authorized employee. Most physical security systems can’t identify tailgaters. Alcatraz AI detects and prevents door tailgating to deter intruders and protect your property from potential damage.

Workplace Injuries

Dark stores create many occupational hazards for employees. Whether it’s falls, physical strain, or moving machinery, workers are exposed to many safety risks that can lead to injury and death. Untrained workers and higher stress levels increase workplace injury. Job-related injuries can lead to personal injury lawsuits and hefty penalties.

Improving your warehouse security can help you create a safer workplace and minimize liability risks. When you use a biometric access control system, you can prevent workers with insufficient training from entering high-risk areas of your warehouse. This can reduce incidents like forklift accidents, leading to fewer workplace injuries and compensation from damages.

Increased Inventory

Dark stores are more like warehouses than conventional stores. No cash registers or other public-facing facilities mean they’re able to store more product.

A security breach at your warehouse could put thousands or millions of dollars worth of goods at risk. This is why it’s so important to invest in cutting-edge physical security technologies for the holiday season. Combining MFA, tailgate detection, and video surveillance at the door, the Alcatraz AI is the best insurance you can find to protect your inventory from damage or theft.

Upgrade Your Warehouse Security With Alcatraz AI

As we go through a retail apocalypse, dark stores offer a glimmer of hope to the struggling retail industry. Because they are lower cost to maintain, they can help retailers run a more profitable business. Although more affordable to manage, operating a warehouse comes with many risks.

The holiday season can make warehouse management even more challenging.

Upgrading your store’s physical security can protect your employees and assets from harm, damage, or theft. If you’re thinking of revamping your security, start with Alcatraz AI.

Book a free demo now to see how the Alcatraz Rock can help you create the most secure warehouse facility.

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