Winter is traditionally one of their strongest sales periods for retailers, but it is also the ‘thieving season.’ Retailers need to prepare for crimes of opportunity, such as lightning-quick smash-and-grab crimes, states the nonprofit International Window Film Association (IWFA), which recommends installing security window films to help deter thieves.
46% of retail theft occured in the winter time
“It is important for retailers to be prepared with added security ahead of the winter season, especially around the holidays, since a study completed several years ago states that 46 percent of retail theft occurred in the winter time or about twice the level of other times of the year,” said Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA. “Security window films offer an unseen layer of security that may help prevent these crimes of opportunity,” he added.
Smash and grab is a bold crime that involves smashing a glass barrier, such as a store window, a door, or a showcase, grabbing valuables, and then making a quick getaway without concern for setting off alarms or creating noise. In 2019, retail theft reportedly added up to $69 billion.
Nearly 67 percent of leading retailers surveyed report a moderate to considerable increase in organized retail crime, and 80 percent believe it will only worsen in the future. Academic research has suggested that most retail thefts represent crimes of opportunity. In other words, people steal when it is easy to do so.
What can you do?
Security window films can be the thickness of two driver’s licenses stacked together or much thinner. In addition to the strong adhesive used to secure the film to the glass, a wet glaze system designed to adhere the film’s edges to the window frame itself or a display case may also be added for more strength and security.
“Unprotected glass can be broken by a thief in a few seconds, but with security window film it may take several minutes or more even after multiple impacts,” said Smith. “This time delay may frustrate a would-be thief and encourage them to move on, and it may also buy a retailer time so other actions may be taken or the police may arrive in response to some alarm,” he added.