Managing Risk in Retail

Risk management in retail establishments involve a detailed assessment of the risks involved in the operations aspect of the business.  Conducting a thorough workplace risk assessment is vital to business growth and image.  Retail businesses are now becoming a thing of the past due to technology.  More people nowadays prefer to do their shopping online, yet the interpersonal interaction and service in a brick-and-mortar business still irreplaceable.

The competition vying for the patronage of clients are now on multiple levels of interaction.  No longer is it enough to have products available, retailers now have to set themselves apart from their competition.  While competition for consumers occur in a variety of levels, a positive in-store interaction between seller and buyers can outdo any marketing ploys by competitors.

Safety is a primary issue that can affect customer engagement in a retail environment.  Businesses that practice risk assessment and management can easily engage their clients on a positive level.  With the risks of conducting business diminished, sellers can focus more on moving their merchandise and providing the best service to their customers.

Risks in Retail

Brick-and-mortar businesses have risks that causes physical injuries, unlike their online counterparts.   Accidents can occur in a retail environment, sometimes every day.  Owners and managers are responsible for identifying these risks and providing solutions or strategies that prevent these risks from coming true.

Risks in a retail environment include slips and falls, falling from a high to low level, getting hit by a foreign object, hitting a store infrastructure, fraud, theft, etc.  Risk management assesses these risks and proposes strategies to minimize the probability of these risks and reduce losses.

Managing Risks in a Retail Environment

The difference between retail and any other industry is the existence of a loss prevention department.  Loss prevention aims to manage all possible losses and risks found in the retail store. They create awareness from the store to the consumer.  They contain potential hazards and implement company strategies in the event of accidents.

Loss prevention departments conduct risk assessments on a regular and continuous basis. These employees improve upon older methods, making them efficient, and providing a safe and pleasant experience for consumers.

While most of the losses in a retail establishment involve acts of theft, there are other passive risks that can harm the business and affect visitors in a negative way.  Slips are still very present in retail businesses.  Because retail stores welcome over a thousand visitors in a daily basis, proper floor maintenance will always be a priority.  Changing seasons and weather can compromise the traction of the floor in a store.  During rainy days, especially on weekends, consumers flock to retail stores.  With the high volume of foot traffic entering an establishment, the floor will become slick and pose a dangerous risk to clients.  Risk management in retail should implement the right course of action that will protect guests and consumers from injuring themselves as they enter a store.

Reducing the Risks of Slips and Falls

Conducting a risk management assessment regarding the issue of slip and falls near entrances of retail establishments would implicate that a more permanent solution be installed to moderate the amount of moisture and debris that will enter the store.  There are several flooring options that can reduce the presence of soil, pollen, moisture and allergens inside a store, but none pose the least amount of danger like a recessed grill mat system.

This matting solution has slowly risen in popularity with facility managers and architects because recessed grill mats effectively trap dirt and other debris underneath the surface of the mat.  Their flushed design diminishes the risk of customers tripping. Installing this floor mat on entryways, will alleviate concerns regarding store sanitation and safety because it traps up to 60% of incoming moisture and debris in its lower level.  It is effective, efficient, and helpful to the risk management professionals who have more pressing issues to tackle inside a retail store.