Retail stores need to maintain certain standards of operation to ensure stability. To do this, a store must monitor different areas and issues so management can correct any deviations. Control measures are put into place to act as a guideline to help monitor and maintain the retail environment.

Stock Control

Stock control measures are used to monitor inventory. These measures include taking inventory of stock as it is delivered and again within the store to ensure proper amounts are maintained and reduce loss. Using sales data is a control measure that provides information about product movement and trends for a given time period.


Control measures to reduce stolen merchandise take various forms. Plainclothes detectives patrol sales floors within large retail stores or centers such as department stores or malls. Hidden or visible cameras are used to monitor areas of the store which sales associates cannot monitor on a consistent basis. Electronic tags can be attached to clothing or videos that can trigger an alarm if the item passes through a detection device before the tag is removed or deactivated. Locked cases are used to bar access to expensive or high-risk items, such as cigarettes, tools, perfumes or electronics. Cables or hanger locks requiring the aid of a sales associate to remove the item from the shelf are used with clothing, electronics, weapons or small-carded items.


Various control measures are used by retail stores dealing with food products. These controls involve proper handling of food items to ensure product quality and safety. Inspections of retail stores by health inspectors or management personnel are a control measure to ensure compliance. Other health control measures include guidelines and training on proper use of equipment and protocols for emergency situations. Some examples of OSHA guidelines are found in Material Safety Data Sheets.


Retail stores use various control measures for employees. These include time management controls, such as time cards and work schedules. Training programs are a method used to control how employees interact with customers. Work lists or charts control completion of specified tasks within a time frame.