I work for a small retail pharmacy, and we utilize many different forms of electronic article surveillance. We really have to. Cameras are great, but they are generally for reactive purposes. When you find a section wiped out, you go back and review footage to see if you can find the culprits. When you make the choice to use tools like Checkpoint security tags and Checkpoint labels, Alpha keepers, and Alpha spider wraps, you are actively engaging in theft deterrence. Otherwise your choices are to lock everything up behind glass in cases. You can’t logically stand at the front door and monitor each and every person entering and exiting, while still ringing people up and providing customer service. In one particular store I went into today, they had no type of retail anti-theft device and the lone employee in the store was doing absolutely nothing to stop shoplifting.
I had just worked ten hours, and then went home to a teenager begging to go to the local beauty supply store. I agree, of course, because I am a sucker. It’s a small place, but they have a lot of very expensive items. Salon brand nail polishes, cosmetics, hair colors and professional hair salon tools are just a small sampling of the merchandise this place carries. When we walked in the front door, the loss prevention guru in me noticed there was no sign of Checkpoint Systems. I hear a voice come from the rear of the store asking if we need any help. The woman is at the back of the aisle closest to the wall, pricing inventory. She cannot see the front door; she can only hear the bell ring when it opens. We tell her we are fine, and she puts her head back down to work on whatever she’s got herself into. I think right then, if it’s up to this employee to stop shoplifting, the manager or owner of this store may as well throw in the towel. So we are looking around, and the bell over the door dings again, the employee offers help from her corner in no man’s land, and the young woman that entered says she is fine just like we did. The good thing for the store employee is that I had a bad feeling about this fellow shopper.
I walked around the corner while my daughter lost herself in the hair color aisle, and I watched the newcomer. She went to the most expensive nail color rack, the good ones you find in the way too expensive nail salons, and looked around. She didn’t see me watching her, and she started shoving bottle after bottle into her bag. No Checkpoint Systems and no one at the register or even near the front door, for that matter, meant she was going to get a big haul. Unfortunately for her, even when I am not at work, I will step in and stop shoplifting in it’s tracks. I was still in my store uniform shirt and still had on my nice official looking name tag. I was not about to let this lady stuff her bag full of $12 each nail polishes and run out the door. I walked right up behind her and said quietly that she had until the count of two to put her bag down on the floor and step away from it. Her shoulders slumped and without turning around, she followed the orders. (I know, right!!) She turned around then and saw me; her face was ghost white and her eyes were huge. She stammered out she was going to pay for those. I just looked her right in the eyes and told her to bend down, pick up the bag, dump it and leave. She complied, and she never even questioned the other store emblem sewn onto the sleeve of my shirt or printed on my name tag. I do wonder what that employee thought when she found that pile of nail polishes in the floor.
I hate to think about how much inventory this store is losing. It literally makes me shiver. With the addition of Checkpoint Systems, they could be protecting their valuable merchandise. They could identify what they lose the most of and tack on some Checkpoint labels and tags. Then when these yahoos come in there to wipe them out, they will get a big loud surprise as soon as they get too close to the door with unpaid items. If you have employees like this, holding keys to your business and running the show while you’re gone, you need to see what Checkpoint Systems can do for you.
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