How to shut up shop (for now).

23 Mar 2020

As a business founded with a mission to empower others to open their own stores, we didn’t think we’d be advising on how to close them too. But here we are. In order to stop the spread of COVID-19, brands big and small are being asked to close their doors. We want to help you do so as safely as possible. So, here are some security tips from the Metropolitan Police to ensure shutting up shop goes smoothly and securely.


Check the basics.

These may seem like the most obvious things to remember, but they’re a crucial first line of defence for any store.

-Test that your alarms are working properly.
-Identify any areas that might need extra protection. This could include emergency exits, roof entrances and back doors. Make sure you don’t cut corners.
-Make sure there are no flammable or combustible materials in your store.
-Use timer switches to turn on your lights at nighttime. For intruders, no darkness means nowhere to hide from the authorities.
-For your most valuable items, consider moving them out of view, into a secure stockroom, or even taking them home with you.
-Take any cash off the premises overnight, or store it in a safe that’s bolted to the floor.

Get it all on camera.

The best first line of defence is a top-notch CCTV system. Make sure yours is ready to go.

-Check your CCTV is in good working order and shows a clear enough picture. Then, check again. And again.
-Position your cameras by all possible points of entry (windows, doors, stairwells) as well as all the public and private areas of your store.
-Now, there are even handy apps that can direct your CCTV live to your phone, and even speak to any intruders. Apps like the Alfred Camera will even send a notification to your phone anytime its sensors detect movement.

Review your keyholders.

Your team cares just as much about your business on lockdown as you do, so make sure you’re all on the same page when it comes to security.

-Copy everyone in on a complete list of keyholders in case of emergency.
-Ensure all staff contacts are up to date and circulated to everyone. Communication is key in a crisis.
-Before you shut up shop, double-check no other sets of keys are left inside the store and are left instead with your dedicated keyholders.

Upgrade your security

Technology is constantly evolving, so there are lots of additional ways to ensure your store’s security is foolproof.

-Security-rated products are the go-to for professional shopkeepers with long-term leases. The Met Police recommend Secured By Design.
-Consider investing in external shutters for an added layer of security (make sure you get planning permission for this).
-Laminated glass and security film can be applied to your windows to make them resistant to any smashes (and can help to contain the mess).
-Fogging devices are particularly popular for stores, you can’t steal what you can’t see.
-Insurance-rated safes are a truly foolproof method of keeping all your valuables protected. Plus, anti-tamper sensors can be fitted to add another level of security.
-If your store is on a busy street, activate security-tested bollards to protect your storefront from any vehicle damage.

More information here