Retail is perhaps the most mature application for video surveillance but it continues to evolve and innovate to not only enhance customer and staff safety and security and to reduce shrinkage and loss but increasingly to use the video data as a powerful business intelligence asset to improve market share and profitability.

The vast scope of the retail environment, including shops, malls, parking, stairwells, and aisles make it a challenging application for surveillance systems. A customisable, open-platform and integrated video management solution provides both flexibility and a diverse range of tracking and data capabilities.

With people moving in all directions, items removed at high and low levels and transactions happening at tills, there is scope for abuse by individuals or organised groups. Being able to store weeks or months of high-quality video data can be incredibly beneficial when trying to investigate shrinkage, fraud and other losses, all of which is vital where retail margins are constantly under pressure. Further to this, intelligent integration of the video management system with advanced technologies, such as facial recognition and behavioural analytics, can be applied to proactively prevent losses as well as improve convictions, admissions of guilt and civil claim successes.

There is typically a large amount of valuable stock around front or back of house service areas. These do need to be protected during opening hours but, perhaps more importantly, when stores and malls are not occupied during dark hours. Here, integration with intruder alarms and access control systems provide multiple levels of detection and reference points to search critical data.

Additionally, retail companies have a duty of care to the public, requiring them to provide a safe and secure environment for all. Using analytic detection systems to identify if someone collapses, slips on a wet floor or is hit by passing trollies becomes an important factor in a security system.

A robust video management platform at the centre of the surveillance solution provides effective video recording playback and exporting with intelligent search tools to deliver exactly the right information, quickly and simply. This can also deliver remote monitoring centrally from head or regional offices, even permitting emergency service access when appropriate in critical situations.

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