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As a busy retailer it’s always been important to keep your stock secure but with wholesale prices increasing and tobacco costs soaring as a result of the 2021 budget, it’s now more important than ever. Here are three things you can do to help keep your stock secure.

Storing your stock

When storing your stock, keep it out of sight and away from doors and areas that can be easily accessed by determined thieves or opportunists, and try to limit the number of people, including staff, who have access to it. Use secure, lockable, fireproof cabinets, gantries or rooms for your high-value items, and consider using mirrors or CCTV to keep stock and equipment monitored.

To keep your stock secure it’s important to know what you have and where it is located. An effective stock-control system will record when stock is bought, sold or, if necessary, discarded. If you keep large quantities of stock you may wish to use specialist computer software for this purpose, but a spreadsheet or written ledger can be just as effective as long as it’s kept up to date.

Controlling your stock effectively helps you meet the needs of your business and your customers, whilst ensuring that you don’t run short on items that are in high demand or overstock on unwanted items or perishables that you will have to discard without selling on. It will also mean that you have an instant snapshot of how much capital you have tied up in your stock in the event that you suffer loss or damage as a result of retail crime or an unexpected event in your shop such as a fire or flood.

Covering your stock

While no shop owner wants to contemplate the possibility of loss or damage to their stock, retail crime and unexpected accidents are, unfortunately, something that many will face in the course of running their business. This is why it’s important to make sure that you’re covered. Stock cover protects you against loss or damage to your stock, enabling you to replace what has been lost and continue trading as you were before the incident.

When taking out stock cover, always check that the cover limits are sufficient for your needs, and bear in mind that stock values can rise over time, especially when it comes to high-value items like cigarettes and alcohol. You should review your stock values at least once a year when you renew your cover, but you may need to adjust your limits more frequently during the year depending on market conditions. With last year’s duty increases imposed on tobacco by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, prices rose by between 4.9 and 10.9% so if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to review your cover limits and make sure you would be sufficiently protected if an incident were to occur in your store.

When calculating your stock value, you should also account for seasonal fluctuations. If you need to hold more stock at certain times of the year such as Christmas, Easter or Halloween, you need to be sure your cover accounts for this. At The Retail Mutual we offer seasonal stock increases as standard to help ensure you are protected whatever the time of year.

Protecting your stock in transit

Your stock is your stock, wherever it’s stored, and that includes when it’s on the road. Goods in transit theft occurs all too often so it’s important to make sure you’re covered against loss when your stock is being transported.

If you get your stock from a cash and carry, always try to travel in twos and be vigilant when loading and unloading your vehicle. Try to keep your stock out of sight when it is in your vehicle – many vans have lockable, concealed compartments but if you use a car, consider tinting your back windows to prevent people seeing what’s inside. Don’t leave stock in your vehicle any longer than you need to, and never overnight.

Try not to transport too much high-value stock at once. Most providers will only cover to a maximum of £5,000 for goods in transit so you need to make sure the total value of the goods you are transporting does not exceed this.

The Retail Mutual specialises in providing protection to independent retailers. We offer stock cover and goods in transit cover as part of our Business Cover, with flexible limits and seasonal increases as standard.

Call. Quote. Covered.

If you want a stronger business for a stronger future, then choose The Retail Mutual as your business cover provider. Since its inception in 1999, The Retail Mutual has grown to provide cover to a wide variety of independent businesses. Why not see what we can do for your business by getting a free no-obligation quote from us? Start your quote online today or speak to a member of our service team by calling the number below.

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