The Top Retail Risks for Businesses this Holiday Season

The Top Retail Risks for Businesses this Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, businesses must navigate unique challenges, from cybersecurity to supply chain disruptions, to ensure safety and drive prosperity.  

"Ensuring retail safety during the busy holiday shopping season is crucial for businesses,” said Danielle Simon, AVP, zone underwriting leader – Illinois and Iowa at QBE North America. “By being proactive and implementing safety measures, retailers can protect their customers, employees and reputation.” 

Businesses need to be vigilant due to shifts in consumer shopping behavior because it brings unique challenges and risks that can impact both shoppers and workers. 

“QBE North America understands the evolving retail risks of the holiday season and remains dedicated to ensuring the safety and satisfaction of both businesses and their customers,” said Cori Henry, AVP, lead claim relationship manager at QBE North America. “In light of shifting consumer shopping behavior, retailers should review and enhance their safety efforts.” 

Below are the holiday season retail risks businesses should consider:

  1. Worker Injuries: Employee strain injuries can occur in a variety of locations from a store aisle to the warehouse. Midsize companies may also face the challenge of not being able to afford highly automated warehouses that reduce heavy lifting or formal employee training programs. QBE North America advises using AI technology to analyze injury patterns and prevent worker injuries. Making necessary changes and training can reduce injuries, improve productivity and ensure employee protection. 
  2. Retail Theft: As businesses gear up for higher shopping activity, they often increase their stock, making them potential targets for theft and vandalism. To guard against these risks, evaluate and upgrade security measures, such as alarms and lighting. Ensure your premises are secure by checking doors and windows, maintaining alarm systems and minimizing vulnerabilities. Installing timers or motion-sensitive lights can deter thieves. Businesses should also secure cash and valuable items and store stock correctly to prevent losses.
  3. Vehicle Deliveries and Accidents: With the rise in e-commerce and home deliveries, vehicle accidents pose a real risk during the holiday season. Businesses must prioritize safety in vehicle deliveries through comprehensive fleet safety programs. These programs assess fleet risk, establish safety policies, provide training and monitor driver behavior. Utilizing advanced technologies like telematics for vehicle tracking and AI-enhanced surveillance cameras can further enhance safety on the road.
  4. Cybersecurity: The holiday season presents unique challenges in the realm of e-commerce, and online shopping is expected to increase this year. With the ever-increasing sophistication of cyber threats, businesses must ensure their technology and security measures are up to the task during peak shopping periods. To reduce the risk of cybercrime, regularly update all software to prevent cybercriminals from exploiting security holes. Use strong, unique passwords with multi-factor protection, employ anti-virus software, set up a business VPN, educate your staff on security risks, encrypt sensitive data, back up regularly and maintain security measures through regular audits.
  5. Supply Chains: Holiday supply chain issues can encompass a range of disruptions, from weather to transport delays. Running out of stock, delayed deliveries or an excess of items can lead to shoppers turning to alternative stores. To navigate these supply chain challenges, businesses need strategies for mitigating disruptions, such as end-to-end visibility, contingency plans and open communication with delivery partners.

QBE North America emphasizes that these safety tips are essential to protect against potential accidents and losses, especially in a holiday season characterized by increased early shopping.

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