Clothing Security Tags Can Help Or Hinder Customer Service; Tips To Ensure You Are Keeping Customers Happy – Part 1

 

Checkpoint Tags- 4                                                                                                                     WC Blog 342
Clothing Security Tags-5
Clothing Security Tags Can Help Or Hinder Customer Service; Tips To Ensure You Are Keeping Customers Happy – Part 1
     Browsing the internet there are any number of articles on clothing security tags. Some sites purport to tell the readers how to remove tags themselves and some discuss how tags work. Others are customers who have become frustrated at getting merchandise home after traveling some distance from the store only to find the tags left on the clothing. I give little credence to the first two types of articles; one because they are often written by thieves, petty crooks or wannabe’s who just wants attention. Those discussing how tags work may or may not know what they are talking about, but if I want the real scoop on Checkpoint Tags I’ll go to the source, Checkpoint Systems. As for customer service issues I’ve had to handle those situations and I have sympathy for those customers. As a Loss Prevention Manager and a Manager on Duty, I have seen the frustration those patrons have experienced when a tag was not removed or detuned properly.
     For readers who are not familiar with Checkpoint Tags a discussion of what they are is in order. Clothing security tags can be soft electronic article surveillance (EAS) sensitive tags that can be applied to manufacturer hang tags or in some cases stuck inside a pocket of a dress, slacks, purse, etc. Hard tags are two piece designs that are pinned to an article of clothing and even softlines accessories such as purses or shoes. The tags are designed to set off alarm towers at the front doors when a tagged piece of clothing or any item for that matter, is carried too close to the door. When the alarm activates a trained employee responds to the door, asks for a receipt and determines if something was not paid for or if clothing security tags were not removed. If it is a matter of a tag not deactivating properly or not being removed that can be resolved quickly. If the merchandise was not paid for, the customer can be offered a choice of returning the item or purchasing it. 
     In most cases alarm activations at the towers are the result of unpaid merchandise that is being carried out of the store, more often than not due to a shoplifting attempt. I will caution that this is not always the situation. There are times when merchandise is accidently overlooked in a shopping cart by the customer and the cashier. The customer pays for the items that are bagged and when they get to the doors the alarm sounds and an inspection of the receipt reveals a small item, perhaps a scarf or pair of gloves with Checkpoint tags on them was overlooked under the child seat portion of the shopping cart. It happens more than you might think. While these issues are inconvenient to the customer, if properly handled the customer can still leave with an overall positive customer service experience. 
     What will frustrate and anger your customers is what I mentioned in my introduction, patrons getting home after shopping and finding they can’t wear a garment they bought because the clothing security tags have been left on them.  How can this happen if the tags are supposed to cause the pedestals to alarm when the customer starts to walk out with tagged clothing? It happens in stages and in part 2 of this article we will look at what happens (or doesn’t happen) that affect the customer shopping experience and can hurt your sales in the long term. 
     Loss Prevention strategies to reduce theft and fraud are critical to running a profitable business. Checkpoint Tags are a proven tool to significantly cut down clothing shortage, keep prices low and customers happy when used properly. Find out how clothing security tags can benefit your store(s).
Checkpoint Tags are important and we can help you with them. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.

Browsing the internet there are any number of articles on clothing security tags. Some sites purport to tell the readers how to remove tags themselves and some discuss how tags work. Others are customers who have become frustrated at getting merchandise home after traveling some distance from the store only to find the tags left on the clothing. I give little credence to the first two types of articles; one because they are often written by thieves, petty crooks or wannabe’s who just wants attention. Those discussing how tags work may or may not know what they are talking about, but if I want the real scoop on Checkpoint Tags I’ll go to the source, Checkpoint Systems. As for customer service issues I’ve had to handle those situations and I have sympathy for those customers. As a Loss Prevention Manager and a Manager on Duty, I have seen the frustration those patrons have experienced when a tag was not removed or detuned properly.

For readers who are not familiar with Checkpoint Tags a discussion of what they are is in order. Clothing security tags can be soft electronic article surveillance (EAS) sensitive tags that can be applied to manufacturer hang tags or in some cases stuck inside a pocket of a dress, slacks, purse, etc. Hard tags are two piece designs that are pinned to an article of clothing and even softlines accessories such as purses or shoes. The tags are designed to set off alarm towers at the front doors when a tagged piece of clothing or any item for that matter, is carried too close to the door. When the alarm activates a trained employee responds to the door, asks for a receipt and determines if something was not paid for or if clothing security tags were not removed. If it is a matter of a tag not deactivating properly or not being removed that can be resolved quickly. If the merchandise was not paid for, the customer can be offered a choice of returning the item or purchasing it. 

In most cases alarm activations at the towers are the result of unpaid merchandise that is being carried out of the store, more often than not due to a shoplifting attempt. I will caution that this is not always the situation. There are times when merchandise is accidently overlooked in a shopping cart by the customer and the cashier. The customer pays for the items that are bagged and when they get to the doors the alarm sounds and an inspection of the receipt reveals a small item, perhaps a scarf or pair of gloves with Checkpoint tags on them was overlooked under the child seat portion of the shopping cart. It happens more than you might think. While these issues are inconvenient to the customer, if properly handled the customer can still leave with an overall positive customer service experience. 

What will frustrate and anger your customers is what I mentioned in my introduction, patrons getting home after shopping and finding they can’t wear a garment they bought because the clothing security tags have been left on them.  How can this happen if the tags are supposed to cause the pedestals to alarm when the customer starts to walk out with tagged clothing? It happens in stages and in part 2 of this article we will look at what happens (or doesn’t happen) that affect the customer shopping experience and can hurt your sales in the long term. 

Loss Prevention strategies to reduce theft and fraud are critical to running a profitable business. Checkpoint Tags are a proven tool to significantly cut down clothing shortage, keep prices low and customers happy when used properly. Find out how clothing security tags can benefit your store(s).

 

Checkpoint Tags are important and we can help you with them. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.

 

 

CLOTHING SECURITY TIPS AND TRICKS – PT-2

 

CLOTHING SECURITY TIPS AND TRICKS – PT-2
Clothing Security takes more than snap of a hard-tag, as covered in part 1 of my tips and tricks. Some careful thought and planning should go into your EAS strategy and how you execute that strategy in your store. I thought about the challenges I’ve faced over the past several years and I hope these next few tricks will help you to prevent shrink and ultimately make your store more profitable. 
When to use an ink tag?
Checkpoint Tags come in varying styles and like I said before, one tag may not necessarily give you the results you want across your product line. You have to tinker with different strategies and different tags, until you find the right combination that gives you the best result. The most effective tag that I’ve ever used is the ink tags. You can use this on almost any article of clothing, and I’ve even used them on footwear in the past with success. These should be the “tag of last resort” when all else seem to fail. 
When to use a soft tag?
Soft tags should always have a place in your Clothing Security tool kit, though they are often overlooked and labeled as “in-effective”. Well, I can tell you they are the furthest from that! From time to time, you’ll encounter product that you simply can’t use a hard tag on.  When using a soft tag, placement in key! Always place your soft tag on the manufacturers tag either on the inside seam, or the seam at the neck. This ensures a good, permeants stick. Couple that with the come cool features, like tamper proof labels and the ability to print UPC’s on them, you’ve got a solid winner. 
When to use a hard tag?
Checkpoint Tags, specifically hard tags, are the perfect fit for clothing. You should use hard tags on any garment that has the potential for theft (which is usually just about everything over $20). Normally, it’s not cost-effective to tag products less than that price-point, since you’re not only paying for the tag, but the labor associated with physically tagging the item. You can use hard tags on shirts, shorts, accessories, jeans, underwear, socks, and virtually any other wearable item. These Checkpoint Tags are, essentially, your rank and file tags. Good, all-around tags that can be used on a variety of items and provide a high level of security. 
When to use a combination of tags?
I don’t necessarily want to recommend putting 5-6 different styles of tags on our article of clothing, but a in order to have an all-encompassing Clothing Security plan, sometimes you do have to use more than one. I would recommend, if using two tags, to use one style of hard tag and a soft tag. So when should you use this double-tagging method? I’ve used them on denim jeans and as well on higher end jackets and outerwear. This gives you an added level of security, by allowing you to conceal a soft tag somewhere in the garment, in addition to the visible deterrent of the hard tag on the outside of the garment. 
What about shoes?
Shoes are clothes, right? You wear them, so I’m going to go ahead and say yes, yes they are. There are dozens of ways to secure shoes, but for me, the most effective manner to do so is by using an ink tag through the tongue of the shoe. I’ve seen shrink drop to virtually zero by using this method. While there are certainly “cheaper” options in securing the shoe, this method has always guaranteed me an almost 99% effective rate. 
Need information on Clothing Security? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now. 

Clothing Security takes more than snap of a hard-tag, as covered in part 1 of my tips and tricks. Some careful thought and planning should go into your EAS strategy and how you execute that strategy in your store. I thought about the challenges I’ve faced over the past several years and I hope these next few tricks will help you to prevent shrink and ultimately make your store more profitable. 

 

When to use an ink tag?

 Checkpoint Tags come in varying styles and like I said before, one tag may not necessarily give you the results you want across your product line. You have to tinker with different strategies and different tags, until you find the right combination that gives you the best result. The most effective tag that I’ve ever used is the ink tags. You can use this on almost any article of clothing, and I’ve even used them on footwear in the past with success. These should be the “tag of last resort” when all else seem to fail. 

 

When to use a soft tag?

 Soft tags should always have a place in your Clothing Security tool kit, though they are often overlooked and labeled as “in-effective”. Well, I can tell you they are the furthest from that! From time to time, you’ll encounter product that you simply can’t use a hard tag on.  When using a soft tag, placement in key! Always place your soft tag on the manufacturers tag either on the inside seam, or the seam at the neck. This ensures a good, permeants stick. Couple that with the come cool features, like tamper proof labels and the ability to print UPC’s on them, you’ve got a solid winner. 

 

When to use a hard tag?

 Checkpoint Tags, specifically hard tags, are the perfect fit for clothing. You should use hard tags on any garment that has the potential for theft (which is usually just about everything over $20). Normally, it’s not cost-effective to tag products less than that price-point, since you’re not only paying for the tag, but the labor associated with physically tagging the item. You can use hard tags on shirts, shorts, accessories, jeans, underwear, socks, and virtually any other wearable item. These Checkpoint Tags are, essentially, your rank and file tags. Good, all-around tags that can be used on a variety of items and provide a high level of security. 

 

When to use a combination of tags?

 I don’t necessarily want to recommend putting 5-6 different styles of tags on our article of clothing, but a in order to have an all-encompassing Clothing Security plan, sometimes you do have to use more than one. I would recommend, if using two tags, to use one style of hard tag and a soft tag. So when should you use this double-tagging method? I’ve used them on denim jeans and as well on higher end jackets and outerwear. This gives you an added level of security, by allowing you to conceal a soft tag somewhere in the garment, in addition to the visible deterrent of the hard tag on the outside of the garment. 

What about shoes?

 Shoes are clothes, right? You wear them, so I’m going to go ahead and say yes, yes they are. There are dozens of ways to secure shoes, but for me, the most effective manner to do so is by using an ink tag through the tongue of the shoe. I’ve seen shrink drop to virtually zero by using this method. While there are certainly “cheaper” options in securing the shoe, this method has always guaranteed me an almost 99% effective rate. 

 

Need information on Clothing Security? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now. 

 

 

Using Checkpoint Security Tags Helps Stop Shoplifting And Prevent Theft On Inventory Night (And Other Tips For A Successful Inventory)

 

Stop shoplifting-4                                                                                                                      WC blog 288
Electronic Article Surveillance-4
Checkpoint Security Tags-5
EAS labels-5
Using Checkpoint Security Tags Helps Stop Shoplifting And Prevent Theft On Inventory Night (And Other Tips For A Successful Inventory)
     It seems like only a few months ago when I was helping out with inventory at the store I currently work for! Having nearly 26 years of retail and inventory experience to draw from, I frequently help identify potential problem areas and provide suggestions to my current store manager to try to make the inventory process easier and more accurate. Right now I work for an office supply store but I have experience in department stores and big box retail stores as well. There are tips and strategies I have incorporated over the years that can be useful in preparing for inventory in almost any situation. For example, all stores I have worked for have used Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tags or EAS labels to stop shoplifting. Prep time is the time to ensure all merchandise has the appropriate Checkpoint security tags on them whether it is clothing, electronics, toys or a combination of those products your store sells. Using the time leading up to inventory to apply EAS labels and Checkpoint security tags not only helps to stop shoplifting later on, it helps to prevent theft by inventory counters or your own staff on inventory night.
     I tend to forget that not all of the readers are familiar with electronic article surveillance or how Checkpoint security tags or EAS labels work or stop shoplifting. Let me give a brief explanation. Electronic article surveillance uses radio frequency emitting tags and radio frequency receiver antennas to create an alarm system. When an EAS label (usually a soft-style tag) or Checkpoint security tag (which can be a hard tag or soft label) is carried into the receiving range of an electronic article surveillance antenna, an alarm in the antenna is activated. Usually this is a loud, audible alarm accompanied by flashing LED lights. The alarm alerts employees and they can respond and conduct receipt checks and recover unpaid merchandise. Often simply having the EAS labels on merchandise is enough to deter a thief from stealing but when it isn’t, the antenna alarm and employee response does result in preventing merchandise from being stolen.
     Here are some other things to watch for that can make your inventory process easier or more accurate. Again, these are lessons I have learned over the many years I have in preparing stores for inventory:
When prepping in a stockroom, watch out for items that may be multiple items in a package. An example would be socks. Some socks are sold as multiple pairs in a package, perhaps a package of 10 socks for $14. Other packages are shipped with multiple socks that are intended to be separated as individual units. Not catching this can result in counting a package of 10 socks intended to be sold individually as 1 unit. The store “loses” 9 pair of socks. Make sure packages are properly marked by how many units are in them OR separate out the package.
Boxes of batteries may be shipped to a store and although a box may contain 20 individual packages, I have seen the shipping box counted as 1 unit. Had I not caught the error, due to poor prep or an inventory counter error, we would have “lost” 19 packages of batteries.
Look for merchandise that gets stocked on the floor in a manner that can confuse an inventory counter. An example of this we have to watch for at an office supply store is 3-ring binders. They are often stocked so that two are inserted into each other to allow more merchandise to be on the floor. The issue at inventory time is it can look like one selling unit. Be sure to show this to your inventory representative during a pre-inventory walk-through so they can make a note of it for their plans. On inventory night audit this area well.
Train employees to look for and report mis-ticketed items shipped to the store from a warehouse. In one store I worked for we called these mis-picks. This should be a year round practice that can significantly hurt inventory. Recently I found a chair shipped to the store with the wrong SKU number. This threw off our counts and impacted replenishment and would have impacted inventory had I not noticed the error and reported it so management could correct the counts.
These are just a few tips that can make a BIG impact on inventory. Stop shoplifting and operational shortage and see how profitable your store can be!
Get more information on Checkpoint Security Tags, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.

It seems like only a few months ago when I was helping out with inventory at the store I currently work for! Having nearly 26 years of retail and inventory experience to draw from, I frequently help identify potential problem areas and provide suggestions to my current store manager to try to make the inventory process easier and more accurate. Right now I work for an office supply store but I have experience in department stores and big box retail stores as well. There are tips and strategies I have incorporated over the years that can be useful in preparing for inventory in almost any situation. For example, all stores I have worked for have used Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tags or EAS labels to stop shoplifting. Prep time is the time to ensure all merchandise has the appropriate Checkpoint security tags on them whether it is clothing, electronics, toys or a combination of those products your store sells. Using the time leading up to inventory to apply EAS labels and Checkpoint security tags not only helps to stop shoplifting later on, it helps to prevent theft by inventory counters or your own staff on inventory night.

I tend to forget that not all of the readers are familiar with electronic article surveillance or how Checkpoint security tags or EAS labels work or stop shoplifting. Let me give a brief explanation. Electronic article surveillance uses radio frequency emitting tags and radio frequency receiver antennas to create an alarm system. When an EAS label (usually a soft-style tag) or Checkpoint security tags (which can be a hard tag or soft label) is carried into the receiving range of an electronic article surveillance antenna, an alarm in the antenna is activated. Usually this is a loud, audible alarm accompanied by flashing LED lights. The alarm alerts employees and they can respond and conduct receipt checks and recover unpaid merchandise. Often simply having the EAS labels on merchandise is enough to deter a thief from stealing but when it isn’t, the antenna alarm and employee response does result in preventing merchandise from being stolen.

Here are some other things to watch for that can make your inventory process easier or more accurate. Again, these are lessons I have learned over the many years I have in preparing stores for inventory:

 

When prepping in a stockroom, watch out for items that may be multiple items in a package. An example would be socks. Some socks are sold as multiple pairs in a package, perhaps a package of 10 socks for $14. Other packages are shipped with multiple socks that are intended to be separated as individual units. Not catching this can result in counting a package of 10 socks intended to be sold individually as 1 unit. The store “loses” 9 pair of socks. Make sure packages are properly marked by how many units are in them OR separate out the package.

Boxes of batteries may be shipped to a store and although a box may contain 20 individual packages, I have seen the shipping box counted as 1 unit. Had I not caught the error, due to poor prep or an inventory counter error, we would have “lost” 19 packages of batteries.

Look for merchandise that gets stocked on the floor in a manner that can confuse an inventory counter. An example of this we have to watch for at an office supply store is 3-ring binders. They are often stocked so that two are inserted into each other to allow more merchandise to be on the floor. The issue at inventory time is it can look like one selling unit. Be sure to show this to your inventory representative during a pre-inventory walk-through so they can make a note of it for their plans. On inventory night audit this area well.

Train employees to look for and report mis-ticketed items shipped to the store from a warehouse. In one store I worked for we called these mis-picks. This should be a year round practice that can significantly hurt inventory. Recently I found a chair shipped to the store with the wrong SKU number. This threw off our counts and impacted replenishment and would have impacted inventory had I not noticed the error and reported it so management could correct the counts.

 

These are just a few tips that can make a BIG impact on inventory. Stop shoplifting and operational shortage and see how profitable your store can be!

 

Get more information on Checkpoint Security Tags, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.