Holiday Shopping

Allied Universal’s 10 Retail Shopping Safety Tips to Keep Holiday Heists and Christmas Criminals from Ruining the Magic of the Season

Editor Note: Security experts specializing in safety strategies for retail settings available for interview.

IRVINE, Calif. – Nov. 1, 2023 – With a rise in looting, smash-and-grabs, active assailant and other security-impacting incidents in malls and retail locations, shoppers are concerned about their safety this upcoming holiday season.

Allied Universal®, the world’s leading security and facility services provider, knows better than most that the holidays mean an uptick in crime, with the severity and frequency of these incidents almost certainly heightened in November and December.

“Retailers are being extremely proactive in ensuring a safe experience for customers and are investing in and dedicating resources to keeping shoppers and employees safe,” said Ty Richmond, Allied Universal president of retail. “Allied Universal is the largest provider of security professionals and firearm/explosive-detecting canines in the retail sector – approximately 10% (30,000) of our workforce in North America is dedicated to retail customers, representing a five percent year-over-year increase.”

Following are Allied Universal’s top 10 shopping safety tips that can keep holiday heists and Christmas criminals from ruining the magic of the season.

Safety Tips for Holiday Shoppers:

  1. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  2. Shop during daylight or at unpopular times. If you must shop at night or during busy times, use the buddy system. There’s safety in numbers.
  3. Don’t shop ‘til you drop. Fatigue makes you more vulnerable to hazards and threats.
  4. Shop at retail locations with visible security guards.
  5. Know what to do in an emergency. Know the locations of exits, fire alarm pulls and hiding places like bathrooms and fitting rooms.
  6. Protect your wallet and credit card information, especially in line to pay. It’s an easy way to prevent identity theft and credit card fraud.
  7. Consider how much you’re buying at once and how you’ll get it home safely.
  8. Park and lock your vehicle in a well-lit spot. Allow extra time and patience in busy parking lots.
  9. Don’t leave valuables or purchased merchandise in your vehicle where it can be seen. Conceal all items.
  10. If you find yourself in a dangerous or unsafe situation, try to get away as quickly and safely as possible. If you can’t do that, find a safe place to hide. And, if you can’t do that, defend and protect yourself.

Supporting Data:

According to the nearly 2,000 global chief security officers who took part in the 2023 World Security Report:

  • 49% of North American companies are expecting to experience security incidents involving violent criminals. (61% in U.S., 33% global average)
  • 46% of North American companies are expecting to experience security incidents involving petty criminals. (51% in U.S., 35% global average)
  • Last year’s most common external security threat was theft of company physical property at 32%. (34% in U.S., 22% global average)