Source: William Pao | As seen in ASMAG.com
We’ve established that security and video surveillance plays a crucial role in luxury stores. Due to the specific layout and design of such stores, the selection of cameras is important. More and more, AI is also used to enhance security and business intelligence as well.
The deployment of video surveillance systems at luxury stores begins with camera selection, which requires careful thinking and consideration.
“Several factors should be considered when selecting surveillance cameras for luxury retail shops.
Firstly, the camera must be discreet and customizable to blend seamlessly with the shop’s interior design,” said Addy Ho, Segment Development Manager for Retail, Asia Pacific at Axis Communications.
“Secondly, camera reliability is crucial, as the cost of replacing a camera is much higher than the camera cost. Additionally, an unreliable system may make footage unavailable when needed.”
“Store fit outs can cost millions of dollars, so it’s critical not to detract from the ambiance of the retail environment with overt security cameras. This makes system design critical in luxury retail settings to protect high value assets while also ensuring the ultimate shopping experience,” said Jason Burrows, Sales Director for IDIS America.
“Identifying high-risk areas such as entrances, exits, cash registers, vaults, and high-value product displays first will ensure optimal locations for cameras and determine the right model,” he added. “It’s also worth considering a mix of visible and covert camera placement, depending on the specific requirements of each area, while wide area coverage without blind spots is important for sales floors, stockrooms, and back-room cash handling areas.”
That said, below are the types of cameras that may be considered.
Luxury storeowners can consider panoramic cameras, which can meet their need for wide-area coverage. “Low profile UHD fisheye and multi-head cameras can provide complete domain awareness across often open plan stores right to the edge of every scene, as well as provide clear views of display cabinets. These can eliminate up to three to four conventional fixed lens models and minimize the impact on aesthetics,” Burrows said.
It’s also important to consider cameras with good low-light and wide dynamic range capabilities. “A camera that can provide color information without motion blur in a low-light environment is recommended. Furthermore, a camera with forensic WDR capability is recommended for jewelry retailers where high reflection often happens in jewelry shops,” Ho said.
As previously mentioned, cameras in luxury stores should be discreet so as not to disrupt the customer experience. To that end, these are cameras that should be considered, according to Keith Aubele, Chief Security Officer at Salient Systems:
Ceiling-mounted cameras: Ceiling-mounted cameras can blend seamlessly with the store’s architecture, providing an unobtrusive and inconspicuous surveillance solution.
Recessed cameras: Recessed cameras can be installed flush with the ceiling or walls, ensuring they do not protrude and draw attention.
Hidden cameras: In some cases, strategically placed hidden cameras, such as pinhole or covert cameras, can be used to monitor sensitive areas while maintaining a discreet appearance.
As for where the video footage should be stored, a hybrid solution is ideal. “A hybrid model is recommended for video footage storage, with footage stored locally for 30 days and secondary storage in the cloud to store footage for 90 days – local footage to be uploaded to the cloud after business hours,” Ho said.
Increasingly, luxury store operators are also turning to AI, which, when combined with video, can help achieve the following purposes:
Indeed, security/loss prevention is of utmost importance for luxury stores, which can use AI for smart detection and search purposes.
“For loss prevention, adopting AI-powered analytics is now seen as imperative as they allow monitoring teams to alert security personnel on the ground to suspicious behavior. Advances in deep learning powered analytics functions – including highly accurate detection alerts to virtual line crossing, object detection, loitering, and intrusion – can be customized to meet security and operational requirements for each store. When analytics generate real-time alerts to suspicious activities, notifications can be immediately sent to security personnel, store managers, or loss prevention teams,” Burrows said.
Needless to say, today, retailers, including luxury storeowners, attach a strong importance to business intelligence, and AI can also play a role in that regard. “AI technologies can analyze customer data, including purchase history, preferences, and behavior patterns, to generate valuable insights. These insights enable personalized recommendations, targeted marketing campaigns, and tailored customer experiences, helping shop owners understand their customers better and provide customized services,” Aubele said.
“AI-powered video can also support assessment of employee behavior and performance, such as adherence to protocols, customer engagement, or response times. This enables luxury retailers to provide targeted training, improve employee productivity, and maintain consistent service quality across every store,” Burrows added.
The AI can be run on edge devices, on-premises, or in the cloud, depending on the use scenario. “For instance, AI that can detect suspicious behavior or slip-and-fall incidents should be run on the edge device, and trigger alerts through the shop network.
Incidents should be recorded both locally and in the cloud for future reference. However, for AI involving big data analysis, such as identifying suspicious individuals or analyzing conversion rates across multiple stores, the AI should be run and analyze the aggregated data in the cloud,” Ho said.