When it comes to retail theft prevention I have found that reliability is important to keep shoplifters and employees from stealing a store blind. I have been involved in investigations where I depended on a system to work only to find out that one critical component stopped working when it was needed most. I have had a camera had go kaput, a manager make a schedule change I depended on as part of an investigation and I have had an anti-shoplifting system malfunction when I needed it. While an untimely glitch from time to time can be expected in any process, if it happens too frequently it can be embarrassing and costly.
I recall a time when my local police department detectives came to my store investigating a rash of robberies and asked if I happened to have video of an incident just outside of our store. I was certain I did and pulled up the date and time frame and what did I find? Nothing. The camera I was sure would have the video had gone on the fritz and I had no idea. Needless to say I was embarrassed both at the state of the equipment and at myself for not having identified the issue when it happened. Broken equipment can also be a source of embarrassment for customers. I have had to apologize to customers when an electronic article surveillance (EAS) alarm activated due to a malfunction of equipment. I have dealt with what we called phantom alarms when EAS towers have started an annoying beeping for no apparent reason. It is uncomfortable for patrons both entering and exiting a store to have alarms sounding and the feeling that everyone is looking at them. Unreliable retail theft prevention equipment can reflect poorly on customer service and it can harm efforts to stop theft.
In order to establish a credible anti-shoplifting culture equipment must work and it must be consistently reliable. I have worked with Sensormatic equipment and I know how dependable it is. I have seen shoplifters drop merchandise they were attempting to steal when the tower alarms detected tags on concealed merchandise. I have also witnessed front end supervisors respond to alarms and conduct receipt checks and in the process identify products a thief was trying to steal. I have been in retail stores where retail theft prevention equipment was in obvious dis-repair and it just seemed like the shoplifters were crawling out from under the fixtures. These stores had panels on the EAS towers partially hanging open and the towers swayed when bumped. There is a clear cultural difference in stores that use Sensormatic equipment and those that use inferior anti-shoplifting equipment or none at all. This difference is noticeable in stock shortage results and who is shopping in those stores.
The impact an EAS system can have on customer service must be considered if a store owner is thinking about reducing theft related shortage. It isn’t simply a matter of bothersome or annoying alarms. It becomes a problem of reduced customer foot traffic if patrons believe they are going to be stopped every time they exit a store due to faulty alarms. No one wants to have the feeling people think they are trying to steal. If they are stopped or see other people stopped without cause those people are going to shop elsewhere. If shoppers stop visiting sales will decline while theft increases. The trick is to put a retail theft prevention in place that will curb crime and NOT distract the clients you have who spend their money in your building.
Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. (LPSI) specializes in helping store owners save money through retail theft prevention. One of the most effective methods of reducing theft is the installation of a dependable anti-shoplifting system that won’t leave you guessing whether or not it will be working. Sensormatic is the system that will add profit to the bottom line and you can DEPEND on that!
Retail theft prevention is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.