Display Case Dilemma; A Loss Prevention Manager’s Discourse On Why He Prefers Gaming Keepers To Prevent Shoplifting Part 1
I was in a big box retail store just the other day with one of my sons who happens to be in his twenties. I mention this because it wasn’t like a young boy who wanted to find a game then hand something from a case to his dad. My son was looking at video games through the showcase glass at the game he wanted. Let me rant for a moment…I HATE showcases. Thanks, I had to get that off my chest. I will delve into that a little later in the article. Fortunately my son already knew which game he wanted so there was no need to browse through a locked display case to read information on other games he might want to consider for purchase. We stood at the case for a minute and when no one came over to assist, I mentioned to him that I had observed an employee an aisle over from us. As my son went to ask for assistance the young man walked by without looking in our direction. My son asked him for help and the associate walked over, opened the showcase, handed my son the game, locked up the showcase and when my son thanked him he said, “No Problem” and walked away. Having many years of Retail Loss Prevention experience under my belt I will be the first to acknowledge I may be a bit more critical of security procedures than most people. I do feel safe in saying I don’t think this was how the security procedures for this item was supposed to be handled. If a business is using showcases to prevent shoplifting then why are employees removing items from lock-up and handing them to a customer and walking away? Better retail anti-theft devices would be Alpha’s gaming keepers in this situation.
What are gaming keepers and why are they my preferred retail anti-theft devices when you want to prevent shoplifting of games? Gaming Keepers are clear, locking cases made of recyclable polycarbonate designed for individual videogame software units. They come in designs to fit smaller games for handheld units such as Gameboys or larger cases for console games such as the PS4 or Xbox One, just to name a few. Alpha keepers allow merchandise to be stocked in the open for easy accessibility by customers while at the same time they prevent shoplifting. The keepers are alarmed so if a shoplifter tries to force one open a high pitched alarm sounds and alerts employees to the attempted theft. Because they are see-through, game content and warning labels can be read. Since they are open display, customers have no need to wait for assistance to pick up a game and take it to check-out! Additionally, gaming keepers and for that matter, all Alpha Keepers are built with electronic article surveillance (EAS) capability so they cause an EAS antenna to alarm if carried into the range of the antenna.
I’ve addressed what Alpha Keepers are for games and I’ve discussed how they prevent shoplifting, but I only alluded to why they are my preferred retail anti-theft devices for video games. Showcases should be a last resort for any type of displayed merchandise. I have several reasons for saying this. First, the customer is resigned to wait if they simply want to look at a displayed item. That doesn’t even mean they will buy it. As someone who has been a Manager On Duty, this is a horrible way to spend payroll dollars. You have to have someone ready to respond immediately with showcase keys. And no, no guarantee you are selling anything to that customer. Second, if more customers need assistance, your employee is forced to stay with the patron at the showcase, are you staffing extra people to ensure you can help at showcases AND not lose customers who are waiting in other areas for help?
In part two of this series I will discuss other concerns that I have with showcases and I will also discuss important customer service issues for retailers. In the meantime, consider the advantages I have mentioned if you were to include Alpha Keepers in you strategy to prevent shoplifting of videogames. You can profit from reduced theft and reduced payroll.
Get more information on gaming keepers, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 today.