* Good visibility allows employees to be aware of suspicious activities outside the store. It also increases the chance that passersby will observe robberies taking place inside the store.
* Keep doors and windows clear. Post any necessary signs to the side, top or bottom of the display windows to allow maximum visibility into and out of the store. This will help customers see your merchandise too.
* Locate the cash register in a central place. Keep it in clear view of the door with the customers' backs to the entrance. The register should be visible from the outside.
* Keep counter displays low. This allows employees to see over the top. You can also rearrange displays to allow surveillance up and down both sides of each aisle.
* Place wide-angle mirrors in strategic locations. This will assist with visibility in blind areas of the store.
* Make sure interior lighting provide good visibility in the store at all times. Outdoor lighting should be even and directed toward the sides of the building, not outward where glare can create hiding places for robbers.
* Place height markers at the main entrance so employees can use them to gauge the height of a thief as he or she eaves your business.
BUILDING SECURITY AND SECURITY DEVICES
* Control access to the building. Keep all doors locked except the main entrance. Ask employees to use the main entrance.
* Install a lock on the back room door that can be unlocked from the inside. Supply this room with an extra key, a phone and a panic button. This will enable an employee to summon help if locked in during a robbery.
* Create a sense of territoriality. People should feel they are on your turf when they enter the store and are not free to do as they wish.
* Install a door signaling system like a buzzer or a bell. This will alert staff of new arrivals.
* Use signs inside and outside the store to emphasize your security policy on limited cash on hand and employee inaccessibility to the safe.
* Silent "hold-up" alarms should be considered. Alarm signaling devices can be installed on the floor and tripped by foot, wired to a money clip in the till, hidden under the counter or inside an office or freezer, among other possibilities.
* Install a "buddy alarm" system. A simple bell or buzzer connected to the neighboring business can be an effective and inexpensive "panic" alarm. It should not be hooked to lights, for a flicker could warn the robber that an alarm has been sent. It should not be loud enough to be heard by the robber. The alarm should be activated only if there is no possibility of detection. A slight movement or sound could trigger a panicking robber into violence.