Convenience Store Security Concerns and How to Address Them

Convenience Stores are not just convenient for customers—they are easy targets for thieves.

Last Updated:
February 15, 2024
| ~
min Read
Nikki Siegel
Marketing Writer

Convenience stores are—as their name implies—convenient. With easily accessible goods and long hours, these stores serve an important role within the community. Unfortunately, robbers and thieves see this convenience in a different light—one that’s costly for business owners and dangerous for everyone else in the store.

Read on to learn about some of the more common convenience store security risks and how your business can address them.


Robbery is a big concern for convenience stores and gas stations. With lower security and higher cash transaction rates, it’s little wonder convenience stores are seen as an easy mark.

To ensure the safety of those in your store, regularly train employees on what to do in the event of a robbery (such as remaining calm and cooperating).

While the top priority is employee and customer safety during a robbery, it doesn’t hurt to take preventative measures to reduce losses as much as possible. Keeping low amounts of cash available in the store (and posting signage advertising that is the case) can make your store a less desirable target and minimize loss in the event a robbery does occur.


In the same vein as robbery (though with less violence involved), other forms of theft such as shoplifting and employee embezzlement are also a major issue at convenience stores.

While it likely won’t eliminate the issue entirely, taking certain measures can significantly reduce the issue of theft:

  • Make employees and customers feel seen. No, this isn’t the kind of “I feel seen” that permeates social media; instead, make sure that customers and employees alike know that they have been noticed and can’t slip under the radar undetected. Use business security camera systems inside and outside of the building (and make it obvious you are doing so). Also make a concentrated effort to acknowledge every customer as they enter the store and regularly review with employees.
  • Reduce easy access. Placing easily portable, high-value targets behind the register or in locked display cases makes it significantly more difficult for people to take things on the sly.
  • Lock the doors. While it may make life a bit easier to have side and back doors unlocked for easy access, it also makes life a lot easier for thieves looking to slip out unnoticed. During business hours, all exterior doors should remain locked (with the obvious exception of the main entrance).

Employee theft, which is especially prevalent, can be harder to detect because of their built-in access to money and merchandise. It can also be difficult to get co-workers to report their peers for fear of retaliation. To combat these issues, start at the beginning of the hiring process by conducting thorough background checks. Implement higher security around your cash registers and keep careful reconciliation to ensure money isn’t “slipping” through the cracks. Offer a confidential reporting system that makes it safe for workers to report any other employee-related issues.

On the other side of the spectrum, it can help if you try to make your employees feel valued and appreciated for the role they play in keeping your business running. Bonus incentives, regular time off, and performance-based raises can lower employee theft AND employee turnover.


From loitering to assault to drug deals, parking lots see it all. While some of these parking lot security risks don’t actually walk through the front door of the convenience store, they still directly impact business through the decreased perception of safety from regular customers and increased risk of violence overall. (And for good reason: convenience stores and gas stations respectively ranked as the fourth and seventh most common locations for violent crimes in 2020 while parking lots and garages ranked as the third most common location for violent crime.)

Parking lot security is difficult for a number of reasons by the parking lot’s very nature: they are open, unregulated spaces where people can come and go at all hours. While it may be difficult to fortify parking lot security, it’s not impossible: bright lighting and an outdoor camera security system can reduce crime significantly.

If you want to take it a step further, you can use a mobile security unit complete with cameras, flashing lights, and law enforcement colors to make your security measures obvious. LVT mobile security units have success rates of a 70% decrease in parking lot incidents and a 50% decrease in unwelcome behaviors.


There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to convenience store security, but there are a number of measures that can and should be taken into consideration. When deciding what will work best for your store, consider location, crime rates, budget, shrink, and employee turnover rates.

Employee Training

Perhaps the simplest security measure to implement (and certainly the most cost effective) is employee training. Train employees to greet and acknowledge each customer as they enter the store so people know they have been noticed. This serves as a warm welcome for regular customers and a warning for would-be trouble-makers.

Train employees on what to do to stay safe during robberies and other emergencies, and reinforce this knowledge with regular follow-up trainings.

Implement a confidential reporting system so employees can report other employees who are stealing from the store.


Ensure the interior and exterior of your store is brightly lit, and regularly check/replace lights as needed. Darkness is a friend to mischief and crime. Try to remove that as much as possible.

Business Security Camera Systems

Camera and alarm systems act as deterrents, alerts, and evidence collection. The deterrent factor works especially well when the cameras are obviously placed and hard to miss, as is the case with parking lot mobile security units.

Some areas of the store need more camera coverage than others. When deciding the placement of your cameras, be sure to consider the following:

  • Entrances and exits
  • Cash registers
  • Stockrooms and delivery areas
  • High-value items

To ensure your cameras are as effective as possible, prioritize high resolution, night vision, and a mobile security platform (for easy alerts and searchability).

Parking lot security cameras can be harder to place without preexisting infrastructure unless you turn to a mobile security unit that is able to supply its own power source and connect with the cloud via cellular connection.


Increase the effectiveness of measures such as security cameras and keeping low amounts of cash in the store by telling customers exactly what you’re doing. Regular customers aren’t going to care, but would-be thieves will take notice of the additional measures and often move to easier targets.

Post signage advertising the following measures:

  • Security cameras in use
  • Low amounts of cash kept on premises
  • Shoplifters will be prosecuted

While signs (and window advertisements) are great, be sure to keep the windows near your cash registers free of any obstruction. This makes it easier for people passing by to spot a robbery in progress and notify the police.

Ready to take your convenience store parking lot security to the next level? Contact LVT today to learn more about LVT’s mobile security units. 

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