BOOSTERS LEAVE RETAILER EMPTY HANDED, AFTER ATTEMPTING TO STEAL HIGH DOLLAR ITEMS SECURED WITH CLOTHING SECURITY TAGS!
Boosters drive Loss Prevention teams absolute CRAZY. They wipe out shelves within minutes, killing your sales and shrink numbers. There are several incidents while I am just at lunch, and boosters were in and out of my location! My store had a policy at the time, to not utilize security devices on certain items we sold. Stores struggle on the decision of utilizing security devices on products or not. A lot of retailers worry about the cost versus seeing the return on investment from using merchandise protection standards. However, these were the “hot” items that the boosters wanted currently. Instead of being frustrated daily, I took it upon myself to do a Best Practice Security Device Program. I wrote up an action plan up on why I was going to go above and beyond with tagging standards. I ordered clothing security tags to deter the thieves and to prove how this program can really work. You learn truly by experimenting with different devices, figuring out what actually deters merchandise from leaving the building. Normally this will send boosters to your competitors, keeping your items on your shelves to sell. Why not invest your money on what has been proven to stop shoplifting in other retailers?! I personally like to invest in security tags on clothes, in order to reduce their amount of loss each year. I have had several, crazy experiences to prove this method.
It’s 5:00pm on a Saturday, and the store is packed with customers on this busy weekend. The store team is running around helping shoppers, while I am scanning CCTV cameras looking for boosters. I am waiting for 2 subjects that target my store once a month on specific weekend days. I was able to develop their trend, and knew they were going to hit my store at some point that weekend. I kept my cameras pointed on the highly targeted woman’s shirts and played the waiting game. Finally by 7:30pm, I see the familiar subjects that I know all too well. They were scoping the store suspiciously for cameras, then quickly headed for the woman’s department. I keep CCTV on the subjects and within minutes of seeing their strange behaviors, both subjects walk right up to the woman’s shirts they have targeted previously. Just 2 weeks ago, I received my new clothing security tags in and I had the store team place them on this entire fixture. Subject 1, quickly goes up to the rack and grabs a stack of the shirts priced at $49.99 per piece. Subject 2 scopes the area, and then signals for Subject 1 to go to the fitting room. They both go into the fitting room and stay in there for 10 minutes. I watch them exit the fitting room, and see them come out with the stack of shirts, dumping them on a random fixture. I run to check the fixture to make sure they didn’t take any. I check the shirts and literally start jumping in the air for joy! All of the associates in the area looked at me like I was crazy, but I was extremely pumped! I was able to see that they dumped everything because they couldn’t get the clothing security tags off of the products! Finally, I was able to put a stop to these boosters! After dumping the clothes, they exited the building quickly and you could actually see them frowning and upset! A HUGE win for our store! They left my store and never came back. I never spotted them again, which shows the deterrent tag method really worked. I ended up totaling up how much these boosters would have left my store with, if I did not have the security devices present: a grand total of $499.90! Within minutes it went from close to $500.00 going right out the door, to the boosters leaving immediately with NOTHING. However, think about how much they got away with previously or when I was not there to observe? I was lucky that I figured out who they were and when they were coming in. This investigation led us to take action by placing security tags on clothes. It is such a small task, for such a big prevention. In this day and age, it is not realistic for associate awareness on the sales floor to be enough in deterring the thieves. Retailers have to use more advanced protection devices that really deters the thieves from coming into the store. I’ve learned that associates including myself cannot observe everything that is going on every day. Even an entire Loss Prevention team cannot observe everything that is going on every single day. So what are you going to do to stop the booster craziness?!
In my several years of being an Asset Protection Manager, I see a massive amount of these same incidents happening on camera due to security tags on clothes. The boosters panicking leaving all items behind, after seeing what tags we use. This is the route to go, if you are looking for an inexpensive fix that truly puts boosters to a stop!
For more information about Clothing Security Tags, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547.