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23 Shopping Centre Retail Security Tips For Shoppers

Retail Security

Lost and Found: If you ever lose or forget an item of yours at a shopping centre, please call the customer service desk or centre security, and they will check ‘lost and found register’ to see if your item has been handed in.

Even if you’re not too sure, but you know you visited that shopping centre, please call and ask and if possible, leave your contact details with the customer service desk or security, and if someone eventually returns your items days later, and you will be called to retrieve it.

Most shopping Centres have got allot of unclaimed lost and found items that they later donate to charity.

Private Property: Many people are not aware that shopping centres are private properties. Though open to the public. So, that means the centre management has rights to create their own, ‘Conditions of Entry’ and also have ‘Rights of Entry Notification;’ rights to limit access or issue banning notices to individuals who are known to have committed an offence or crime in the past, and their continued visit could endanger other patrons, retailers safety.

Please check this Link to the article by Sydney Morning Herald 15 Dec. 2016 for more details on Private Property.

Bag Check: There is no specific legislation regarding bag check in Australia, the Australian Federal Police and almost every state and Territory in Australia have got their advice/policy concerning bag check. But they almost all agreed that if the store display’s a bag check notice at the front entry, the retailer can request to check a customer’s bag, and the customer can also refuse a bag check.

Please check the Link to Consumer Affairs Victoria bag Check Policy for more information.

Incident to Report: While you are at the shopping centre and you are involved, witness or experience an incident, I will advise if possible, not leave straight away, call to speak to centre security and report the incident straight away. The security guards will make an incident report, and if possible, they will store any CCTV footage capturing the Incident.

Mistakes people often make, they return to the shopping centre many days after to report an incident, and by then the Centre no longer has CCTV recording of the event as most Shopping Centre CCTV storage only holds footage for 30days.

Pets: As I mentioned earlier most shopping centres’ have got a, ‘no pets allow inside Policy.’ Always be careful when you leave your pet’s inside your car. Because I have seen a situation where an overzealous patron forces their way into someone’s car to remove a pet; even though the windows of the vehicle have been appropriately wind-down for the pet to have enough ventilation, so my suggestion is to leave your pet at home if possible.

Customer Services Desk: Most shopping centres have customer service or guest service desk; such desk is not just to make enquiries of how you can locate certain stores.

The enquiry desk staff are there to assist customers who might have lost or left their mobile phone at home, or a having flat phone battery, and they allow you to make phones call or call a Taxi.

Some customer service desk also sells shopping centre specific gift cards and sometimes they even give free retailer’s discount vouchers. If you require emergency assistance or got any questions to ask, please head to the customer service desk and they will assist you.


Centre Management (CM): As the name is self-explanatory, they manage the shopping centre and oversee its operations and making sure every patron, customer, retailer, contractors etc. all have a safe and enjoyable time while the at the centre.

You want to inquire about leasing a store or get a casual leasing space? The go-to place is the Centre Management, take note most CM is mainly open Mon-Fri regular business hours.

Centre Management is also able to assist patrons who are having issues with any retail store, where security guards are unable to resolve such matters. For serious enquiries, complains that you think Security or Customer Service haven’t satisfactorily answered your questions-please see centre management.

Retail Security Guard: The retail security guard at the shopping centre is mainly there because of you, ‘the customer,’ they are there to assist and listen. The centre management can’t do it all on their own, so that’s why they hire the security guard to assist; next time you are at your local shopping centre say ‘ hi to the security guard,’ the average security guard in a shopping centre walk’s about 12KM-15 KM per shift, sometimes they walk twice the average KM.

Some of the security guard duties is to listen to the customer, assist with customer queries and give direction, attend to first aid incident, escort customer to their cars if they feel unsafe, help find customers car if they can’t remember their exact parking spot, evict unruly patrons, write down customer complaints and pass on to management.

Another additional advice, if you regularly visit a shopping centre, try and get the centre Security contact number, you never know when it will come in handy.

Spill and Waste Bin: I have seen a lot of accidents and incidents in the shopping centre, a patron’s spill’s their coffee or milkshake on the floor, then walk away as if nothing had happened. Moments later another patron unknowingly threads on the spill, slipped and twist their ankle or ends up fracturing their bones; few other occasions the patron ends up disabled.

The centre pays-out massive insurance claim to the injured patron, which leads to increase in retailers rent-due to the high insurance premium, the retailer then raises the price of their stock, and the consumer ends up paying for it all.

What to do? When you spill drink or food, please wait on the spill-spot, wave to the nearest retailer and ask them to call shopping centre retail security or cleaner so they can place a sign there and clean it up- be your neighbours’ keeper by doing what is right.

shopping centre security

Shopping Trolley: Always keep an eye on your shopping trolley especially when filled with shopping items; I have seen a situation where patrons leave their shopping trolley unattended for a few seconds, and a ‘random person’ just stole the whole lot, so always keep an eye on your filled shopping trolley.

Always return trolleys to the trolley-bay once you have completed your shopping. If you find the trolley bay too far, please make sure you don’t leave it where it will impede other incoming patrons from parking their cars, or when the wind blows, the trolley will roll over and scratch someone’s car. Leave the trolley in a safe spot.

Don’t take shopping trolley home; I believe one of the most annoying things is finding shopping trolleys all over the footpath, while the nearest shopping centre might be 2KM away. Each trolley cost the retailer over a $1,000, and each trolley you take home, the retailer increases the price of their stock to cover cost-loses and theft, once again everyone ends

up paying for it.


Missing Kids: It’s easy for parents/guardian to lose hold of their kids in the shopping centre, especially around the playground area (if any) toy stores etc. If you can’t find your child in a shopping centre, please don’t panic! Your child is most likely still in the shopping centre, %99 of the time you will parents get reunited with their child.

What to do; go into the closest store and ask the retailer to help you with the shopping centre security phone number, customer service desk or centre management; the moment you report your missing child to the retail security guard, they will take over the search, also centre cleaners will be informed to join the hunt too. If a customer or retailer happens to find your child, the shopping centre security will be alerted; the shopping centre security guard will then reunite you both.

Make sure you always stay with security while the search for your child is going on, if you insist on searching solo, leave your contact details with the retail security guard, so they can call and inform you once your child has been found. If after 15 minutes your child is still not found, most likely the Police will be notified.

 You will find all kinds of people at the Shopping Centre

Senior Citizens: These are some of the most beautiful people in our communities, most of them have worked hard their whole lives, and now they are retired. The shopping centre provides them with the opportunity to socialise, network and have some good times between people of similar age.

Often you find these senior citizens around the food court area, drinking coffee, chatting and reading newspapers- they are a delight to talk to and are always friendly!

If there was ever a time you don’t find a shopping centre security guard, or a customer service desk close by to ask about a retail store location, the next best person to ask for a lead is the senior citizen that congregate around the food court- they know the shopping centre almost better than anyone else!

Shoplifters: Allot of crimes and theft happens inside the shopping centre- surprisingly crime statics hardly include shopping centres incidents, crimes or theft! I remember being told this at a local crime statics community meeting organised by Crime Stoppers Victoria.

Having gained the right amount of shopping centre security experience and insights in shopping centre security. We will recommend you read a Free copy of our recent book (on Apple iBook’s or Google books) Titled ‘ Security Adventure Service’ this book covers a lot of crazy and unbelievable and often funny shoplifting/crime stories, you may learn more tips, please check the link for the book.

There are people who only breath and live shoplifting; sometimes you see such people with modified shopping-bags, baby-prams and what have you, they do these modifications to beat exit doors sensor/alerts.

Well dressed, the rich, weak, old, young, male, female almost every demographic of our society you will find engages in this dastard act of shoplifting; stores that sell expensive clothing brand, electronics are the most targeted, and often such stolen items end up on Gumtree, Facebook Market place or local Pawn stores.

Retail Security : Important Warning

Caution, I am not in any way implying everything you find on gumtree, Facebook or pawn stores are stolen items.

Unruly Teenagers: Just as the shopping centre attracts senior citizens, so it also attracts teenagers- but not all teens who patronise shopping centres are ‘unruly,’ though few of them hang around shopping centres, and consistently cause trouble.

You can quickly identify these teens, they usually hang around the centre’s main entry’s, or if the shopping centre has got bus bay, you will find them hanging around there.

You will find them mostly under 18, and they are always asking passing patrons for smoke’s, or lighter or even begging for money, and other items you will see them provoking passers-by to a fight.

Warning, when you see a tiny teen trying to provoke you to a fight in the shopping centre, I will advise you to continue walking away, even if you think you can insert the teen in your wallet. The reason is that ‘tiny teen’ is not always acting alone, he has got other ‘gang members’ waiting to pounce on you as soon as you give in to the fight bait and make a name for themselves.

Another shopping centre retail security tip, if you no longer feel safe because of the teens or someone else, walk into the nearest retail store and ask a staff member to assist you with retail security guards phone number, so they can escort you to your car or the bus stop, or call police while you are in there.

Weird People: The shopping centre is like a magnet that attracts all kinds of people, often it draws the best of our community, and other times it also attracts few sick people, some creepy and weird. I won’t go into much details about the odd people in this article today.

Some of these people are harmless, but other times you find some to be misbehaving, you wouldn’t want them close to you or your child.

Vigilant: While out and about shopping, my advice is to keep a close watch of your bag, wallet, mobile phones or any other valuable you’ve got with you, I have seen incidents where an offender snatches a purse that was left on the dining table, while the victim was busy eating. Majority of people that go to the shopping centres are good and decent citizens, but some individuals only frequent the centre to steal, shoplift and cause trouble.

Though the shopping centre might look beautiful, and the SALE’S price too good to be true, always shop smart and shop safe, always keep an eye on your kids, phone, wallet, purse, car, shopping trolley etc.

Security Concepts Services is a retail security company that specialises in providing shopping centre’s with retail security guards, retail loss prevention officers, and retail stores security. Please contact us today for a Free Risk Assessment and Quote, or visit our website to see other security guards services we provide 1300 044 989 or


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