In this new article, we offer a guide to CCTV in shops and retail security cameras. The retail industry is arguably one of the most susceptible to theft. Clothing stores, supermarkets, and other shops are often targeted by thieves looking to steal from the shelves.

Furthermore, staff stealing valuable stock or cash from under their employer’s noses is another constant threat. 

For this reason alone, retailers deploy surveillance cameras in stores across the length and breadth of the UK. In this guide to CCTV in shops and retail security cameras, we will evaluate the benefits of having systems installed, alongside looking at the different stores that may require CCTV. 

Furthermore, we will also provide detail on the types of CCTV cameras these businesses use to protect their goods.

Let’s begin with your guide to retail security cameras and the different types of CCTV cameras used in shops.

The benefits of deploying CCTV in shops and retail security cameras

The first thing to look at when considering installing CCTV for your retail store is the advantages they bring. The presence of CCTV in shops and retail stores, in and around your premises can help protect you from a variety of threats. 

Some of the benefits include:

  • Deterring employee theft
  • Deterring shoplifters
  • Keeping the business safe
  • Providing evidence
  • Securing and managing car parks

Let’s take a look at each.

Deterring employee theft

External threats aren’t the only thing shops have to worry about. 

Most of the time, employees with their hands in the cash register pose an equal threat to shoplifters in retail businesses. CCTV cameras placed behind the registers and in the stockrooms are usually enough to make an employee think twice.

Furthermore, if you are concerned about issues around employee theft, read our guide to spy cameras and covert CCTV 

According to a report by the U.K.`s Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), employee theft costs UK convenience stores £20 million.

Deterring shoplifters

The biggest threat that retail stores face is shoplifting. While individual offences may not seem that significant, collective losses end up costing the retail industry millions every year. A well-placed retail security camera can prevent shoplifting, and potentially deter them from trying to do it again.

As we write this article, the UK is going through a cost of living crisis. According to reports by Bloomberg, theft is on the rise in UK stores as the cost-of-living crisis grows.

Due to advancements in technology, detecting and catching shoplifters has become even easier. AI-driven video analytics and facial recognition cameras allow you to capture the faces of thieves and shoplifters. You can then store these images on a database. If the individual enters the store, your security staff will be alerted.

If you are interested in this topic, read this article on the ethics and privacy issues surrounding facial recognition CCTV.

Keeping the business and staff safe

The presence of CCTV in shops, in and around the premises, can create overall peace of mind. 

Full coverage of your store and its surrounding area can spot antisocial behaviour, meaning you can keep unwanted people away from the business. This helps protect revenue, as it means people are less likely to be put off by loiterers outside your shop.

These types of threats and nuisances can be spotted easily by deploying turret CCTV cameras or dome surveillance cameras in external areas.

Providing evidence

In the unfortunate event of a thief or employee stealing from your store, having CCTV cameras present is an effective way to ensure the situation is dealt with. 

Reviewing surveillance footage can help easily identify the thief in question. 

Additionally, disputes between customers and your employees can happen, leading to nasty accusations. Having CCTV footage to refer to for evidence can help clear things up.

Furthermore, retail staff and shop assistants can be the victims of verbal abuse and physical attacks. According to reports in the UK media, 10% of UK retail staff were assaulted last year.

All in all, this makes deploying CCTV in shops a priority for many retail businesses.

The different types of CCTV in shops and retail security cameras

In this section of our guide to CCTV in shops and retail surveillance systems, we take a look at the different cameras that are deployed.

They are: 

  • Dome and Turret Cameras
  • People Counting CCTV
  • PTZ Cameras
  • Thermal
  • Facial recognition
  • ANPR

Let’s take a look at each.

Dome and Turret Cameras

These two most common forms of CCTV cameras in shops. Whether it’s a small convenience shop or high-end outlet, you will most likely spot these somewhere inside or outside the premises. 

Both turret and dome CCTV cameras offer good vandal proofing and are noticeable enough to deter any thieves caught in their sightline.

Looking to learn more?

Read our article covering dome vs turret cameras.

People counting CCTV

These specialised types of retail security cameras are designed to calculate the number of people entering, leaving or passing by a certain area. They work by connecting to a central PC via an IP network. 

These cameras can provide daily, weekly or monthly analysis on figures including queues and entry times.

One of the leading brands in the people counting camera space is Hikvision. 

If you would like to learn more, visit Hikvision’s dedicated section on their website to people counting CCTV camera technology.

PTZ surveillance cameras

Pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) cameras’ functionality allows them to survey large areas with a single lens. This makes them especially useful for covering large areas, such as retail outlets, supermarkets and shopping centre car parks. 

If a group of people are loitering or causing trouble near your premises, these cameras can spot them, zoom in and monitor their activity.

Furthermore if an individual leaves the store under suspicion of theft, they can be deployed to track them whilst the Police are on their way.

Looking to learn more>

Read our article on the different types and benefits of PTZ cameras.

Thermal CCTV cameras

Thermal CCTV cameras can be deployed to cover a wide range of security objectives. 

These can include tracking an intruder in no-light settings, i.e if they enter a building out of hours when the lights are off.

Secondly, they can be deployed in food stores and refrigerators to monitor temperatures. If they fall below or rise above a certain temperature, an alert can be triggered. 

Lastly, thermal cameras can be used to track intruders who breach a site perimeter after dark, with a view to looting onsite depots and warehouses. 

Image credit: Avigilon

Facial recognition cameras and video analytics 

Modern, technologically advanced CCTV cameras can be integrated and equipped with AI-driven analytics. 

An extension of this technology covers facial recognition cameras.

As mentioned earlier in this guide to retail security camera systems, facial recognition is useful for spotting known criminals entering the store.

This helps shops, retail outlets and supermarkets protect themselves from shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.

If you are new to this security solution, you can find out more about Avigilon’s facial recognition camera systems.

For owner-managed retail stores, and medium-sized shops, budget can be a constraint. Another option could be Hikvision’s facial recognition camera solutions as they are often less expensive than other manufacturers. 

ANPR CCTV Cameras (licence plate recognition)

ANPR CCTV cameras can help stores keep track of how long each car has spent in their car park. This helps to ensure smooth parking management, with tickets being issued via a third party to those who overstay.

Furthermore, ANPR can be used to trigger car park barriers and track how long someone has stayed in a paid parking space.

Lastly, if shoplifters and thieves get away in a vehicle, an ANPR camera can be used to store the number plate. If the number plate is picked up again, the store’s security team can be notified via an alarm signal.

The different types of retail stores and shops we protect

In the last section of this guide to CCTV in shops and retail security cameras, we will look at the different types of premises we protect.

As the industry is quite broad, different types of retail stores may need CCTV systems for different reasons. Some of the different stores include:

Convenience Shops

These smaller shops are typically the most vulnerable to shoplifting. 

Their narrow aisles and minimal security mean there is ample opportunity for petty thieves. With their compact size, a handful of well-placed dome cameras would fully cover the premises. 

CCTV cameras in convenience shops help:

  • Deter shoplifting 
  • Detect employee theft
  • Protect staff and customers again abuse
  • Offer the owner peace of mind

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to deploy CCTV cameras in convenience stores. As mentioned previously, these settings require a small volume of dome and turret cameras.


As well as being vulnerable to shoplifting, large supermarkets also have the extra consideration of monitoring their storefronts and car parks. If an incident occurs to a customer or member of staff while outside the store or in their car, having a CCTV system present can help negate these threats.

They are also targeted by organised groups of shoplifters, so an advanced retail surveillance solution is recommended. 

Surveillance cameras in supermarkets shops help:

  • Deter shoplifters and thieves
  • Detect employee theft (tills and stockrooms)
  • Protect staff and customers against verbal  abuse & violence 
  • Help to protect revenue
  • Protect the overall retail environment
  • Secure the car park and detect overstaying 

These settings often require a mix of PTZ, bullet, turret, dome and ANPR CCTV cameras.

Retail stores 

Where retail stores such as Curry’s, PC World, and Apple typically hold more valuable goods, security is critical to minimise financial loss. Shoplifters may target laptops, and other valuable items that can be resold on the black market. 

In these settings, another threat is employee theft. Retail stores with high-end clothing brands, household items or jewellery will often have more cash in the registers and lucrative stock rooms targeted by criminals. 

The presence of a well designed retail CCTV system in these areas could keep these employee temptations to a minimum. 

CCTV security cameras in retail stores help:

  • Detect and deter shoplifters and thieves
  • Minimise the financial impact of theft
  • Detect employee theft
  • Protect staff and customers against crime
  • Protect the overall retail environment
  • Minimise operational disruptions
  • Create a safe retail environment

These settings often require a mix of PTZ, bullet, turret and dome CCTV cameras.

Summary: A guide to CCTV in shops & retail security cameras

We hope this guide has helped further your knowledge of the CCTV and surveillance camera options available to you.

To recap, there are a number of key benefits and advantages of deploying surveillance cameras in stores and shops. These include deterring and detecting thieves, protecting staff, and managing car parks. 

Furthermore, depending on your setting and size of operation, there are numerous options available to supermarkets, retail outlets, stores and convenience shops.

Looking for a new or upgraded retail security camera system?

Visit our page dedicated to retail and shop security or call us today on 0800 689 1835