The world of college education is rapidly changing: more online classes, digital books, web conferencing – everything that can be done digitally is being done digitally. It once was a rite of passage to spend hundreds of dollars on large text books to be lugged around in your backpack to, from, and all around campus. Now most students will either buy or simply rent electronic books to save the hassle of carting around heavy textbooks. Luckily there are still a few purists or traditionalists, like myself, who prefer to have the book on paper. Considering that a large number of students are turning to electronic text sources, it is becoming even more important for bookstore owners, especially those that sell textbooks, to be making every dollar that can be brought in by the sale of textbooks. This means, it is a more important time than ever to consider the big role of retail theft prevention in all bookstores.
Throughout my undergraduate studies, I also worked in retail loss prevention at a large, national chain store. During the day, I went to the university to study criminology and then at night, I would observe shoppers and shoplifters in the store. My studies and my work would blend together on occasion. I recall going to the university bookstore to find the books required for my course, seeing a uniformed security guard up in the textbook section, and another at the front door by the Electronic Article Surveillance pedestals. Carrying my backpack upstairs by the textbooks, I placed my backpack on the floor to retrieve my list of classes and required books, feeling a strange sense of guilt (even though I intended to steal nothing). I knew that what I was doing certainly looked like I was trying to stuff books into my backpack without paying! I also recognized that the security guard took notice of this also, and was eyeing me very suspiciously. Luckily for everyone, this was not the case.
I also noticed the very highly-priced text books! Yes, the university book store tends to charge more for books, but I found myself pondering the situation as I left to the bookstore across the street for cheaper books. One of the reasons the text books are so expensive is because of shoplifters. If your business sells books, I thought to myself, and they are always getting stolen, then naturally the prices are going to go up to cover the costs of the theft! That creates “customers” like me who then decide to shop elsewhere!
The textbook store across the street could beat the prices of the university store, but didn’t allow you to browse for books yourself – an employee would go find what you were looking for and return to the front (again, for preventing retail theft of books). Seems to be a bit of an extreme measure, but obviously they had even less margin to lose to theft, while keeping their prices lower than the university’s across the street.
Checkpoint Labels are the perfect solution to stop shoplifting of books of all kinds. White in color and barely noticeable just inside the cover of a book, these devices will activate an alarm with Checkpoint Security System pedestals installed at the door. Easily deactivated at the point of sale, they are sure to be a wise investment for anyone in the book business. Personally, I think it is best to have some combination of physical security controls (like guards or an “employees only” area) and merchandise protection and deterrence.
For more information, contact us: Retail Theft Prevention or call 1.770.426.0547