Liquor Bottle Security; Ideas For All Budget Sizes: Part 3
In parts 1 and 2 of this series of articles, I have been reviewing how the automobile industry has not so subtly attempted to get me to purchase a new vehicle that will make my life better. They have plied me with ads for heavy-duty work trucks, fuel-efficient and affordable compact cars and luxurious, leather seated, fast and stylish sports cars (yes, my wife reminds me THAT isn’t happening). Each class of car has its pros and cons, fuel efficiency vs. a larger engine, luxury vs. a fixed budget, payload vs. a small trunk. In a way, stores that sell alcohol, especially small to mid-size retailers, have similar considerations to worry about when it comes to merchandise security. Owners want to prevent theft and shortage but each owner has to also worry about profit and budget. One size does not fit all when it comes to liquor bottle security. The purpose of this series has been to demonstrate that there are affordable means for bottle security for everyone, such as the use of bottle locks on merchandise. Just like buying a car, each vehicle will move you from place to place sometimes it just gets you there faster or carries more weight in the process. In these articles retail owners should be able to find an idea they can afford to keep shortage down.
The one consistent strategy that all owners can use in combatting shortage is to place bottle locks on wines and spirits. These are anti-theft devices that are secured over the lid and neck of a bottle to prevent someone from gaining access to the contents until after a purchase is made. They can only be removed with a detachment tool that is maintained at the cash register stand or a portable detachment key carried by an employee. Bottle locks are most effective when a store also has Electronic Article Surveillance antennas. Since the locks will set off the antenna alarm if a bottle with a lock still attached, the locks deter shoplifters and also provide the store employees with the ability to recover merchandise before it is stolen.
Owners of liquor stores or grocery store that sell alcohol may be in a position to get a “luxury sports car” version of a merchandise protection system. In this case, Electronic Article Surveillance antennas should be purchased and placed at all entrances including loading dock doors. These stores should also protect every bottle in inventory with a bottle lock, ensuring customer accessibility to product while providing the optimal level of merchandise security. The more products secured the better the odds of stopping shoplifting. Shoplifters often set their sights on high end products but when they can’t get to those they will look for the next best option. A shoplifter may want to steal a $50 bottle of wine but if the bottle is protected they will go down to the $30 bottle and so on until they locate an unsecured item, even if it’s a $10 beverage.
Additionally, the luxury car has all the bells and whistles, complete sound system, on board driver assists, leather seats, etc. The store that can go all out should have all the bells and whistles too, one cashier and two or three employees at any given time available on the sales floor. Closed circuit television systems with attached digital cameras should be set on each aisle as well as the front entry and exit doors. Cameras would be monitored and when attempts at theft are detected, employees can be directed to the area to give superior customer service. Cameras should also be placed at employee and vendor entrances to monitor for possible employee or vendor theft. Finally, a uniformed, trained security officer would be positioned at the front doors to respond to EAS antenna alarms and conduct employee package checks as team members leave for the day.
I understand this is pie-in-the-sky for most businesses. All of it takes money and the return on investment may not be great enough to justify all these measures. But, a store CAN afford bottle locks and certainly exceptional customer service costs nothing but a smile and welcoming attitude. By investing in the liquor bottle security a store can afford will pay dividends in the long run.
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