Electronic Article Surveillance Buying Guide
Electronic Article Surveillance systems were created in 1966 by Arthur Minasy in order to prevent thieves from shoplifting from stores. Over the years the industry has grown and with it systems have improved from types of antennas used to detect EAS protected merchandise to the variety of EAS tags used in the industry today. The use of the technology has also grown from being retail theft prevention oriented to having an impact in businesses, libraries, and even into the medical field.
Knowing what you need to secure
It is important to know what it is you want to protect before making a purchasing decision. Are you a small retailer that sells clothing and need to stop shoplifting? Perhaps you own a wine specialty shop and want a retail theft prevention system to protect higher priced wines or other spirits from theft. Many businesses, including medical practices, have adopted newer mobile technologies in the workplace and use tablets and i-pads. Due to the information contained on these devices there is a need to ensure the devices don’t leave the building. While Electronic Article Surveillance systems all work on the same basic principle of a radio frequency reading tags that pass through antennas and alarm if the tag is not deactivated, there are various types of tags and devices that can be used based on the item(s) to be protected.
• Electronic Article Surveillance Tags – These are considered “soft” tags and generally can be applied to cardboard, plastic and ceramic surfaces. They may be purchased in rolls and applied by hand or they can be applied by vendors in a source tagging situation.
• EAS labels – Labels can be custom designed on different materials, for example denim, leather or plastic and vendor source applied. This method conceals the EAS tag, while maintaining the brand and appearance of the merchandise.
• Hard Tags – These tags come in a range of models and types. They can be applied by adhesives, clamps, pins or cables depending on the type of tag being used. Hard tags can be versatile and used on a variety of merchandise and property, including portable office electronics.
• Security boxes – Security boxes allow merchandise to be placed in the box for display purposes and then displayed on a shelf. They are clear so customers can look at the contents and read packaging and carry it around the store until they are ready to check out at a register. These boxes will alarm if tampered with or if someone were to try to exit with the box.
Within the range of available retail theft prevention supplies there are other factors to take into consideration such as whether a 2 alarm device or 3 alarm device makes more sense to meet your demands. The 2 alarm devices alarm if tampered with and activate an EAS antenna alarm if someone attempts to exit with an item that is tagged. The 3 alarm devices add another layer of security by activating not only the antennas, but the alarm device itself if someone were to attempt to exit with tagged product. A new product on the market allows merchandise that is tagged with the appropriate device to be tracked if it leaves a zone it is designated to be in. The merchandise tracking feature will alert store or office staff via mobile devices or computers (even P.A. announcements) if a device is tampered with or moved out of its’ designated zone. A company specializing in merchandise protection, such as Checkpoint Systems, can provide suggestions on how best to stop shoplifting and/or protect the merchandise or equipment you are selling or using in your business.
Electronic Article Surveillance Antennas
Store or business space can also be a factor when looking at EAS systems. Antennas are the pedestal looking devices you most frequently recognize when you enter or exit a store. These are the devices most people will associate with a system, and may be a concern if your location is not very big. An example might be a small jewelry store that you see in a mall. They don’t tend to have a lot of sales floor space and that space can be constricted. Small medical practices, such as a doctor’s office may not have a lot of space for the lobby and entry ways are tight, allowing only the necessary room for a wheelchair. These situations may not seem suitable for EAS antennas which appear to take up a considerable amount of entry way space. At one time this may have been true, however there are antennas on the market now that take up considerably less space than you might imagine and are compatible with the smaller waiting room or limited sales floor footprint. For locations where space is not a factor, antennas on the market are stylish and have a sleek design. There are also antennas that provide for customer counting options for analyzing traffic data through a store. Some now integrate signing capability that allows a business to incorporate advertising opportunities in the antenna.
Electronic Article Surveillance is continually growing in the scope of businesses that can benefit from installing a system. Whether you are running a small business and need to stop shoplifting or a large medical facility and seek to prevent theft of equipment, electronic article surveillance can be designed to fit your business model.
For more information on retail theft prevention, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547