My wife and I were out shopping the other day looking around one of her favorite clothing stores. My wife was interested in the clothing, while I found myself interested in the sign on the door seeking applicants for a Loss Prevention Officer. As I looked around the store I noticed quite a few closed circuit television cameras, or at least domes hanging from the ceiling. I already knew that this store staffs the fitting room with a fitting room attendant, and saw she was diligently counting clothes for patrons as they entered and left the fitting room. But I was surprised that after all the times we have visited this store, I never noticed they do not use a Checkpoint security system to stop shoplifting. In fact they don’t use any retail theft prevention devices on clothes, shoes, or any of the other items they sell. It seems a little curious to me that a store would invest in Loss Prevention staff and CCTV systems, but not go the extra step to use Checkpoint tags or electronic article surveillance antennas. While it is good to want to catch shoplifters, I have found that it is much better if you can deter them in the first place.
How does a Checkpoint security system stop shoplifting? Starting with the electronic article surveillance (EAS) antennas positioned at the doors, shoppers entering the store are aware that the store is using retail theft prevention equipment. Criminals also look for this when they are deciding whether or not to target a store. Once in the store the use of Checkpoint tags on merchandise deters casual shoplifters, the people who may only steal for a quick thrill or on an impulse. They don’t necessarily intend to steal before they come to the store, but make a decision based on impulse. This particular group of shoplifters tends to avoid taking too many risks, especially the risk of setting off an EAS alarm at the front doors. Professional shoplifters may also be deterred by Checkpoint tags because they too prefer not to attract unnecessary attention. They desire to remain anonymous so that they can repeatedly return to a store and shoplift. Alarms attract attention so professionals prefer to steal merchandise they do not think is protected with tags or they go to a different store altogether. Store personnel trained to properly respond to EAS alarms also stop shoplifting. They can recover merchandise when an attempted theft occurs. Shoplifters recognize when a store takes alarm activations seriously and this is a retail theft prevention measure in itself.
So returning to my original observation, why is this store not using a Checkpoint security system to stop shoplifting? Is it the perception that it will cost a lot of money or the constant expense of purchasing new hard tags? A Checkpoint system can actually pay for itself over time, eliminating the concern of expense. Reduced shortage due to theft will result in increased profits to the store. Additionally, sales increase when product is available to be purchased by the honest clientele since shoplifters aren’t stealing it. These two factors combine to offset the cost of a system. The expense of hard tags is no excuse. Hard tags from Checkpoint systems are reusable. They are designed to be removed at the point of sale as an item is sold and stored until ready to be attached to new shipments of product. By recycling tags, there is not a constant need to buy more as merchandise is sold.
Having security cameras and Loss Prevention personnel are important to stop shoplifting but they should not be the only tools a store has at its’ disposal. A Retail theft prevention strategy should include a Checkpoint security system, training on the placement of Checkpoint tags, tag removal and employee training on alarm response. Reap the rewards when you use Checkpoint systems.
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