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Best Security Camera Placement for Retail Stores

December 11, 2023

Too busy to read? Here’s a summary:

  • From organized crime rings to everyday shoplifting, transaction fraud, and violence, retail crime has been destabilizing the retail industry and shows no sign of letting up.
  • Cameras on sales floors should be strategically selected and placed to provide full overview coverage. To cover large areas with a single camera, consider cameras with wide-angle lenses, such as fisheye and dome cameras. These can be installed on ceilings and at a point central to the area to be monitored. Additional camera types should be placed to secure high-value inventory and cover blind spots.
  • Cameras should be installed in retail stock rooms to monitor for both internal and external theft. Modern access control is also a smart security measure for stock rooms. Access control systems require the presentation of at least one authentic credential. They only grant access to individuals with prior authorization, and they automatically log entry and exit data. The logs create accountability for users and can be invaluable for inventory management and staff accountability.
  • At points of sale—especially self-service checkouts—cameras must be strategically placed to monitor customer-staff interactions, document transactions, and aid in dispute resolution.
  • Install security cameras in parking lots to deter vandalism, auto theft, and violent crime.

According to the world’s largest retail trade organization, the National Retail Federation, businesses in the U.S. are now losing more than $70 billion annually to retail theft. That number has been growing year after year, and it’s just one of many data points that highlight the need for effective retail surveillance.

Of course, if you’re in retail, you don’t have to look at data to recognize that retail crime has become a major problem. You’ve watched it mature over the years from a classic American pastime to an industry in its own right—an industry with flexible schedules and off-the-books, tax-free work!

But don’t give up on legal retail work to join a criminal enterprise just yet. With the right tools and approaches, major retail threats can be managed and sometimes even neutralized.

And our team here at Mammoth Security knows how to do it.

Keep on reading for expert advice on retail camera placement and best practices.

Where to Install Retail Security Cameras


Sure, your store's entrance should have a doormat, but it shouldn’t make you look like one. Face-level cameras at entry and exit points remind potential wrongdoers that they’re being watched.

Shopping center storefronts with security cameras

Just as importantly, entry and exit cameras capture identifying details as shoppers come and go. If a crime occurs on your property, these details can be used to identify suspects.

Sales Floors

The sales floor is the heartbeat of your business, buzzing with customers and activity. To optimize security there, strategically place cameras to cover both high-traffic areas and those relatively isolated areas where merchandise is the most vulnerable.

Dome cameras, known for their discreet appearance and relatively wide viewing angles, are ideal for sales floor applications where customers shouldn’t be made to feel overly surveilled. Domes can be centrally mounted on ceilings to provide wide, expansive coverage.

In fashion retail, place cameras near (but not inside!) dressing rooms to help staff identify shoplifting incidents before thieves leave the store.

Stock Rooms

Stockroom cameras monitor areas brimming with inventory, which are prime targets for both external and internal theft.

To safeguard your inventory, install cameras inside stock rooms and at their entrances. Be sure to use cameras with advanced night vision capabilities, as backroom theft often occurs while the lights are off.

Your stock room is also the part of your store where modern access control makes the most sense. Access control systems prevent doors from opening for unauthorized users by requiring authentic credentials. Access control systems can automatically log entry and exit data to enhance workplace efficiency and effective investigations.

Points of Sale

Install security cameras at points of sale to monitor customer-staff interactions and prevent transaction fraud. Cameras should be placed for a clear view of cash registers, card machines, and their surroundings.

For self-service checkouts, specialized surveillance equipment is recommended. These areas require cameras that can monitor the transaction process closely because self-checkouts invite high levels of theft and fraud.

Interior Blind Spots

Blind spots in a retail environment—such as stairwells, hallways (such as those leading to bathrooms), and areas behind large displays—are a haven for shoplifters. It's, therefore, crucial to identify these areas and equip them with appropriate surveillance devices.

Exteriors and Parking Lots

Parking lots and other areas outside of stores aren’t prone to shoplifting because they rarely contain items that are for sale. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that parking lots are hotspots for car theft, vandalism, and violent crime. Install parking lot security cameras to protect staff and customers, as well as their vehicles and other assets.

Install LPR (license plate recognition) cameras for enhanced parking lot security monitoring. LPR cameras leverage artificial intelligence to recognize and capture license plate data for investigations and suspect identification.

For enhanced parking lot deterrence, install speakers or cameras capable of audio output to announce every few minutes that surveillance is taking place. These announcements remind bad actors to be on their best behavior.

Just as importantly, they give customers a sense of security from the moment they park to the time they return with loaded carriages (known as shopping carts outside of New England).

Getting the Most Out of Retail Security Cameras

Visibility is Key

Make sure your cameras are visible. Visible security reduces shoplifting and other unwanted behaviors in retail environments.

Quality Matters

High-resolution cameras make a world of difference, especially when you need identifying details.


Ensure good lighting for clear footage, especially in outdoor areas, or invest in high-quality night-vision cameras.

Mammoth and Retail Security

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So, there you have it! The Mammoth Security guide on where to place retail security cameras.

If your business happens to be in or close to Connecticut, you’ve already found your one-stop shop for reliable security systems.

Our crew here at Mammoth Security is full of friendly, hardworking experts who know how to select, customize, and install the right cameras where they’re needed for even the most complicated security challenges.

To claim your COMPLETELY FREE site survey and consultation with a bonafide expert from our team, just click on the contact button and fill out the brief form that appears.




In retail stores, security cameras should be placed at entrances, sales floors, blind spots, exteriors, parking lots, stock rooms, and points of sale.

Security cameras prevent retail theft by acting as a deterrent to potential thieves and by capturing footage that can be used for identification and legal action. Visible cameras at key locations like entrances and sales floors remind individuals they're being watched.

High-resolution security cameras in retail offer clear footage for identifying faces, license plates, and details of crime. Clear footage is essential for effective surveillance because it aids in resolving disputes and investigating incidents.

Lighting is important for retail security cameras as it ensures clear footage, especially in outdoor areas like parking lots. Good lighting helps cameras capture better-quality footage.

Security cameras in retail settings and parking lots significantly reduce vandalism and violence because their presence acts as a powerful deterrent. Security cameras with advanced AI features can even recognize suspicious activities and provide staff with proactive notifications.

Retail security camera placement at entrances is crucial as it captures extra identifying details of wrongdoers, provides a sense of safety to shoppers, and deters criminal activities.



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