I come from a long line of retail professionals. I have been in the corporate loss prevention world for years, my dad owns a restaurant and my grandparents ran a grocery store for decades. During every family gathering and holiday the conversation seems to always turn to our jobs and we all trade stories of our funniest… or dumbest shoplifter stories. Last Independence Day, the family was together and grandpa began telling a story we’ve all heard probably 100 times. It involved an employee at his grocery store stealing bottles of vodka. One of my little cousins was hearing this for the first time and sternly asked us, “Isn’t there a bottle lock you could use?” What a little genius.
The year was 1967. My Grandpa had been running his own grocery store for 10 years, with the help of his wife and anyone that wanted to make an honest wage. The hours were long, the margins were slim, but being his own boss was all he ever dreamed about. Inside the store was a small, although very profitable, liquor section. My grandpa liked to brag about how he was the only person to stock high end scotch, whiskey and vodka for miles around. He not only stocked it, he sold the heck out of it. Liquor was a cash cow for him back then, and it still is for stores today. Liquor theft today costs retailers hundreds of thousands of dollars. It may have not been that much in my Grandpa’s store, but it was more than enough to get him to notice.
Over the course of a few weeks that summer, he began to notice that he was always out of stock on a certain brand of vodka, but his sales seemed to not show a profit. He couldn’t figure it out and eventually forgot about it while dealing with a hundred other problems in the store. One day while receiving a shipment of produce in the warehouse, he noticed one of his most tenured employees carrying two gallons of water to the loading dock. He watched as the employee poured the water out of the jugs and left the warehouse. He got pulled away again and forgot about what he saw until a few days later. He went back to that area of the warehouse and noticed a few boxes that were out of place. After moving them aside, he discovered about 20 empty bottles of his most expensive vodka. It all began to make sense to him now. He learned after watching for few days that his employee would empty the water, fill it with vodka and then leave the store after paying the $.20 for the water. If bottle locks had been invented back then, it would have saved him thousands of dollars in lost profit.
In today’s world, a bottle lock is the preferred method of retailers to secure their high end liquors. It’s a simple, cost effective solution that will prevent loss and lead to increased sales. They come in all types of sizes and styles that can fit any application out there. I’ve used them in several applications in my career and they really are a simple way to protect your product. So join me as we raise a glass to higher profits!
For more information, contact us at Bottle Locks, or call 1.770.426.0547