I just got bit by the clothing security tags epidemic. You know the one I’m talking about. It is the purchase that is made but the cashier wasn’t paying attention. It is the alarm tag that wasn’t removed and it set off the electronic article surveillance towers. What was even more irritating was I stood at the door to the place and no one came over or acknowledged me. Well one person acknowledged me, the guy sitting on the chair waiting for someone who was shopping. We both looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders and I left. That wasn’t the end of of my story there is more. But hey, I like cliff hangers so I will tell you the rest in a couple of minutes. Until then there is a little lesson you can already glean from what I have told you. Your cashiers HAVE to pay attention. When they are assisting at a register and a store uses Sensormatic tags on clothing it is critical that they are deactivating labels or removing tags. The customer service issues that occur when it is not done properly are a poor reflection on your business.


Those tiny little clothing security tags can create big problems. Sensormatic anti-theft devices are designed to protect merchandise from theft and they are extremely effective at it. They aren’t supposed to be a customer service distraction but that is what can happen if stores don’t train employees properly. The downside of tags is that they have to be removed when a customer makes a purchase. Electronic article surveillance labels don’t require removal at the register but they do need to be deactivated or they will also set off alarm pedestals. In order to make an anti-theft system truly effective, managers must train cashiers on the proper processing of merchandise. That means passing everything over a scan bed where a deactivation unit is usually housed and hand scanning merchandise as little as possible. It is just as important to devise a standard for tagging when it is done at the store. Like items should all be tagged in a prominent location that is positioned approximately the same on each piece. For example all jackets might have a clothing security tag placed in a seam near the cuff of the jacket. Pants may be tagged in a seam near the right hip. If this practice is followed cashiers are going to become accustomed to looking for the Sensormatic tags every time they ring a sale and that will avoid a lot of errors.


It may not seem like it should be that big a deal but let me tell you from my encounter it can be so let me finish my story. As I mentioned, no one checked on me after I set off the security alarm. I went home and presented my purchase to my wife. Well, it wasn’t exactly what she wanted so a bit later that day we took it back to the store for a refund. I walked back in and the alarm sounded…again. I just shook my head in irritation. I got to the return counter and handed the cashier my receipt. She then pulled the coat out and was looking to see if clothing security tags were still on it. She gave me the suspicious glance as she noticed the tag was still attached. Now I was a bit ticked because as a former Loss Prevention Manager I knew what she was thinking, “Yeah, this guy bought one and stole one.” Well, if she wasn’t thinking it I know it would have crossed my mind if I were in her position. I explained that the cashier had been talking to me during the transaction and was probably distracted and forgot to look for it. I told her I had not been approached when I exited the store. I don’t know if she believed me but if she didn’t it did not hinder my ability to get the refund. It may have also helped that I told her I only needed the item credited back to my card I was not looking for cash. Nothing else was mentioned about the tag but I can say there was some embarrassment on my part at the first alarm and irritation at the thought someone potentially thought I stole something.


Protecting your merchandise with Sensormatic tags is the smart move to make. You’ll reduce losses due to criminal activity and make your store much more profitable. What you need to understand is that those same tags can become a problem without proper training. Purchase a Sensormatic system from Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. and get the proper training while you are at it.


Sensormatic tags are important and we can help you with them. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.