To read this content please select one of the options below:

Effectiveness of formal and informal surveillance in reducing crime at grocery stores

Sami Kajalo (Department of Marketing and Management, School of Economics, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland)
Arto Lindblom (Department of Marketing and Management, School of Economics, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 22 February 2011

2418

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyse grocery retail entrepreneurs' perceptions of the effectiveness of both informal and formal surveillance in reducing vandalism, disturbance, and shoplifting in their stores.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study utilizes elements of CPTED in its theoretical approach. The population for the study consisted of 946 Finnish grocery store K‐retail entrepreneurs. The data collection was carried out through an internet survey in February and March 2009. A total of 161 grocery store retailers filled in the questionnaire, yielding a response rate of 17 percent.

Findings

This study shows that, of different types of security problems, grocery store retailers view shoplifting as the most severe. To reduce this and other security problems, retailers have invested in several forms of formal and informal surveillance. Among these investments CCTV systems seem to be the most prominent. However, respondents did not view high‐tech surveillance as the most effective. Instead, this study shows that retailers view security guards and activity of the personnel as the most effective ways for reducing vandalism, disturbance, and shoplifting in their stores. Furthermore, the results emphasize the importance of store environment, e.g. clean and well‐lit premises, as an important way of reducing crime.

Research limitations/implications

Qualitative studies could reveal issues that would enable more thorough operationalization of the concepts linked to surveillance and security in the store environment.

Practical implications

The paper sensitizes retail entrepreneurs to think where informal and formal surveillance work best in the store environment.

Originality/value

Very little empirical research has evaluated the effectiveness of surveillance in store environment. The present study fills this research gap, at least to some extent.

Keywords

Citation

Kajalo, S. and Lindblom, A. (2011), "Effectiveness of formal and informal surveillance in reducing crime at grocery stores", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 157-169. https://doi.org/10.1108/14626001111106488

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles