Are Shoplifters Destroying Your Profits?

Are Shoplifters Destroying Your Profits?

Retailers have always faced the challenge of preventing shoplifting, which can cause significant financial losses. In response to this problem, Sensormatic, a leading provider of retail security solutions, has developed an anti-shoplifting system that has been proven to be highly effective.

The Sensormatic anti-shoplifting system is a comprehensive solution that utilizes a combination of electronic article surveillance (EAS) and other technologies to prevent theft. The system consists of three main components: tags, pedestals, and a monitoring system. The tags are small electronic devices that are attached to products in the store. The pedestals are placed at the entrances and exits of the store and are designed to detect the tags. The monitoring system is used by store personnel to track the movement of tagged products and identify any potential theft.

Studies have shown that retailers that use the Sensormatic anti-shoplifting system experience a significant decrease in shoplifting losses. In fact, some studies have indicated that the system pays for itself in as little as five months. This is because the system is so effective at preventing theft that the savings from reduced losses quickly offset the cost of the system.

But the benefits of the Sensormatic system go beyond just preventing shoplifting. The system also provides retailers with valuable data and insights into their inventory and customer behavior. By tracking the movement of tagged products, retailers can identify which products are most popular and adjust their inventory accordingly. They can also use the data to optimize store layouts and improve customer experiences.

The Sensormatic anti-shoplifting system is a valuable investment for any retailer looking to prevent shoplifting, reduce losses, and increase profits. By utilizing advanced technology and providing valuable insights into customer behavior, the system offers a comprehensive solution that pays for itself in a short amount of time.

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Tips To Resolve Electronic Article Surveillance Label Alarms

Tips To Resolve Electronic Article Surveillance Label Alarms

I worked in Retail Loss Prevention for many years and during that time I had a lot of opportunities to stop shoplifting as the result of an electronic article surveillance alarm set off by a tagged piece of merchandise. Today I work in a library but still deal with alarms when patrons set them off as they exit or enter our building. The alarms are sometimes caused by items that are tagged but the tags have not been properly deactivated. In other cases it is the result of someone trying to sneak library materials out in order to steal them (sounds a lot like shoplifting doesn’t it?). It is necessary to investigate and resolve the source of any alarm until it is satisfactorily resolved. Just a few days ago a student was leaving the building and as she walked through our towers the alarm sounded. I used my Loss Prevention experience to stop the patron and talk to her about what may have caused the activation.

Whether it is a college library or a store, electronic article surveillance labels can prevent merchandise and property from being improperly removed from a building. In the case of a retail business those labels can make the difference between a profitable and successful enterprise and one that struggles. Sensormatic labels can prevent thieves from stealing but even with a system as good as Sensormatic’s a store must have employees available to respond to alarms. Those employees must also have the proper training to approach shoppers who set off alarms and the know how to resolve the alarms. It is not as easy as it may sound. I would like to offer some tips from my own experience so you can train your employees to identify what has set off an electronic article surveillance alarm system.

An employee who approaches a customer that has set off an alarm should never begin the interaction assuming the customer was trying to steal something. The attitude exhibited by the employee influences the way the customer will respond. I have found that by making a statement that indicates a mistake happened rather than an attempted theft can calm a patron almost immediately.  I will say something like, “Uh-oh, our system must not have deactivated a tag properly, I’m sorry.” 

I then begin the process of determining the cause of the alarm. In a store I will ask if the patron has made a purchase. If they say they did I ask if they could show me a receipt? If the patron said they bought something but they don’t have the receipt I ask if I can look in their bag. I follow up by asking what register they went through and after reviewing the transactions if I cannot locate the item I tell the customer we must have accidentally missed the item as we were scanning. No, I’m not throwing the cashier under the bus, I am giving the person an “out” so it does not appear I am accusing them of theft. 

If a look through a shopping bag does not reveal the cause of the alarm a bit if finesse will be required. You may have to try to get a peak in a purse, backpack or tote and that can be more difficult. People don’t like to have their personal belongings rummaged through. I like to say something that will make the person feel like I am helping them. If they have multiple bags I will suggest they walk one bag through the tower at a time. Through the process of elimination I find the bag that has the active tag in it. I then diffuse the situation further. I mention that I have had customers forget and put an item in a purse to see if it would fit (such as a wallet) and forget they put it in. Again, providing a ready-made excuse for the customer makes it easier to get an item back or the person to pay for it, I have encountered both. I also tell customers that sometimes people make purchases at other stores with electronic article surveillance systems and they fail to deactivate tags and it can set off our system.

A skilled employee who has been trained can stop shoplifting and even prevent unintentional missed merchandise from leaving the store.

If you don’t currently have a Sensormatic system in your store I strongly encourage you to get one. You will stop shoplifting and as you do you will see your instocks improve. THAT drives sales and profits. As evidence that my tips work, in the case of the library alarm, the student had two books in her backpack that she had forgotten about. I got them checked out and the student went on her way.


Need more information on electronic article surveillance, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 today.


Customer Service And Electronic Article Surveillance Tags – A Winning Solution To Stop Shoplifting

Customer Service And Electronic Article Surveillance Tags – A Winning Solution To Stop Shoplifting

I have been in retail a LONG time and somewhere around 18 of those years were spent in Loss Prevention. Today I still work in retail but I have the opportunity to continue to ply my Loss Prevention skills in recommending to my manager items I think should have electronic article surveillance tags on them. Better yet is when I get to use my experience to stop shoplifting in the store. I had just such an opportunity recently while I was working. I will share the story with you in a moment and there will be pertinent tips you can employ in your own store to put a halt to theft. Before I do that I want to point out that the situation could have been avoided if the store used more electronic article surveillance (EAS) devices on products than what the company currently dictates.

Electronic Article Surveillance is a system that uses radio frequency (rf) emitting tags and rf receivers called pedestals or towers to protect merchandise from theft. Pedestals are placed at the entrances and exits of stores in order to detect a person trying to leave with unpaid, TAGGED products. These are electronic article surveillance tagsI emphasize tagged because without a protective device an item can’t be detected and this is how so many stores experience climbing shortage. Let me clarify that statement too. Retailers that have electronic article surveillance systems that are not maintained, of poor quality or do not have a strong tagging program in place also experience increased shortage. When the tagged products are carried into the range of the pedestals the pedestals have an alarm that blasts out an alert and nearby employees respond to conduct receipt and package checks. The more a store tags the more effective the deterrence value of the system.

Electronic Article Surveillance Tags

Getting back to my recent incident, I was walking to the store from my vehicle and a manager was returning from his lunch break and stopped me. He pointed out a pick-up truck that had two males sitting in it and the manager said they had been there for a while and he had watched a female leave and enter the store. The manager said that he had called the store manager and alerted him. I got into the store and got clocked in and immediately went to the floor and began offering customer service to the female suspect. I also looked into the shopping basket and noted several items in it and that none of them had EAS tags (electronic article surveillance tags) on them. Well, I offered service and would leave the immediate area and a manager would start to watch. It took a few minutes but one of the men from the truck entered the store. The man and woman met up and were still being watched by managers but I was getting tired of the cat and mouse game. The female had enough small items that it would have been easy for her to conceal some in her purse if he had blocked for her. Without electronic article surveillance tags the alarms wouldn’t sound when they left and that would prevent an excuse for a bag check. I walked into the aisle with the couple, put on my best salesman smile and offered additional assistance. I even offered to ring them up on my mobile device. Oddly, they began saying they were uncomfortable with all of the attention and felt like they were being watched! The man even said he felt I was being pushy to ring their transaction. I smiled and let them know that one of my faults was I have been a pushy salesman for my 7 years at this company. The woman said she would put the items back and leave because she was so uncomfortable. I let her know she didn’t need to go to the trouble and I took the basket and assured her I would put the items back for her. The couple left and the three of them jumped back in the truck and left. We saved over $200.00 in merchandise through employee awareness and great customer service.

Customer service is a great way to increase sales and decrease theft but it should never be the only theft prevention measure. Use EAS tags on everything and rely on Loss Prevention Systems Inc. EAS systems for reliable technology and support. 

For more information about electronic article surveillance tags contact us or call 1.770.426.0547  

Store Owners Are the Reason Shoplifting Occurs

In current day and age, it seems that many people like to blame others for their problems in life. In keeping with that theme, then, shoplifting must be your problem, because you as the store owner or manager are at fault… right?!?

Actually, I think there could be some truth to that–but not in the way you may be thinking. Shoplifters are despicable pond scum; that is one of the problems in our society. They result in a collective jump in price for our necessary goods and services. The shoplifter alone is responsible for their theft.

But we as retailers do have control over our environments. The Merchant laws in almost every State in American actually define and make shoplifting a crime and provide protections for the Retailer. So where is the problem?

We simply do not exercise adequate control over our retail establishments. Oh, I know we have to be careful, because we do not “want to run off our good customers”. This is true, but that is assuming that shoplifters and customers feel, act and respond the same way. Nothing is further from the truth. A good customer rarely even notices the anti-shoplifting efforts going on. They simply do not care. They did not enter the store and begin shopping with even the slightest thought of theft. They are there to compare your prices, service and store’s feel.  Oh, sure, they may notice the Checkpoint Antennas or gates at the door, but most have no idea what they are for– and even if they do, they don’t allow it to occupy their thoughts while shopping. Honest shoppers don’t have to care about your LP measures. The closest they get to your shoplifting efforts may be seeing the sign that says “Shoplifters will be shot at sunrise” or some such thing.

A shoplifter is another issue. They are watching for your anti-shoplifting efforts. Thieves pay close attention to employees that are providing excellent customer service. They are afraid of your employees. In case you did not know it, customer service is the number one way to prevent shoplifting. All other tools and devices are a support mechanism for customer service.

So start controlling your environment. Get some training from us if necessary and make it happen. YOU have control over whether or not a shoplifter ruins your day, week, month or year. Don’t be the reason that shoplifters find your store more attractive than your competition.

“A Shoplifter Only Stole A $25 Bottle From Me. I don’t need to get Bottle Security, why spend the money?” Guess What…He Got Much More!

That $25 bottle actually cost you a lot more in real money liquor bottle security could have easily prevented. You have to make up for the theft of that bottle just to break even. If your store operates on a typical 2% profit margin. That’s the margin after payroll, tax, insurance, the light bill, and any other overhead you will have to sell and additional $1,250 JUST TO BREAK EVEN ($25/.02). That’s right, the next $1250 goes for making up for the $25 bottle the shoplifter stole. The most simple solution for your shrink problem: bottle security for your business.

Currently, Alpha Security is making the most reliable bottle lock systems on the market. They are high quality and very easy to use. One twist or push of a button and your bottle security ‘s in place. This liquor bottle security has really come of age. A bottle lock can be a low profile deterrant to theft. It requires an Alpha Security unlocking key kept by the register. Bottle locks are also reusable.

If you lose $500 a week in shoplifting losses that is $26,000 per year in theft that translates to $1.3 million dollars a year in actual losses to you. No company can make money in that environment.

One of the premier liquor bottle security options Alpha Security created is called EASy Bottle for (Electronic Article Surveillance). The EASy Bottle bottle lock is a solid black bottle lock that comes in several sizes. It prevents the bottle from being opened in the store and then a bottle lock alerts everyone in the store through the Checkpoint System at the doors. There are now newer versions such as Crystal Guard and EASy Guarde. Those bottle locks have clear acrylic tops and are a much lower profile. They fit on the shelf better and have a much smaller over all footprint. The EASy Bottle bottle locks , Alpha Security ‘s most well known bottle lock are still available.

Visit the Retail Loss Prevention Store for your bottle security needs

For more information about liquor bottle security or bottle locks contact us or call 1.770.426.0547

Why don’t shoplifters wear name tags? – Atlanta Georgia

When you go to a meeting, don’t you normally wear a name tag so that people know your name? Maybe you also include the name of your company and your position with the company.

Wouldn’t life be so much easier if shoplifters behaved the same way when they walk into your store? If each shoplifter wore a name tag saying “Hello, my name is Fred, I am self-employed and I am the lead shoplifter”. Truly, wouldn’t it be helpful if we could so easily detect a shoplifter? Unfortunately shoplifters don’t wear name tags advertising their profession.

In reality, there is not a “look” to a shoplifter. They can be dressed nice, dressed shabby, be clean, be unkempt, be male, or be female. There is no picture in the dictionary next to the word “shoplifter.”

Does that mean since we don’t have a picture of a typical shoplifter, there is nothing that your business can do to prevent shoplifting? Shoplifters can be detected more by their actions than their look. Shoplifters may be looking around and watching other customers and your employees. He/she may appear nervous or apprehensive. If he or she simply wanders through the store and does not appear to be shopping the way your other customers are shopping, you may very well be dealing with a shoplifter and yes, you can teach your employees how to identify a shoplifter and prevent shoplifting.
Some shoplifters work alone but many times they work in groups.

One person may distract the employee while the other steals. Once you teach your employees that anyone can be a shoplifter whether they enter your store as a single customer or in a group, they will be better prepared to prevent shoplifting.

Training of your employees is a key element to prevent shoplifting. Have your employees pay attention to their surroundings while they are working on your sales floor. If they are stocking shelves or straightening merchandise, they can still watch the customers around them and provide good customer service.
Make sure that your employees are aware which items are considered high theft. These items should be kept in an area where employees can monitor them. Employees should provide excellent customer service at all times – but especially when customers are looking at these high theft items.

Shoplifters will never wear name tags in public but you certainly can ensure that they will not frequent your store for the “deals” of the week by applying proven tips to prevent shoplifting in your store.

For more information contact us: prevent shoplifting or call 1.770.426.0547 Atlanta Georgia