Bigger is often considered better but there are times when smaller is better for example with little labels. C’mon, let’s be honest when we were kids which gift did we always eye first? That’s right the BIG one! When I was old enough to cut the first piece of my own birthday cake I don’t recall ever making it a small slice. When fishermen go out and return with their stories how many of them recount their stories of the little fish that got away? None, every fish that gets away is the big one. What company seeks the opportunity to build the smallest skyscraper in the world? The competition is always seeking to make the biggest, tallest building even if it’s only by 1 foot. Sometimes things just start out big and ingenuity and technology finds ways to reduce the size of things while giving them more power and making them better. Radios used to be big and bulky, until technology made transistor radios small enough to be carried in a person’s hand. Televisions were so large they were often built into cabinets. The size was a result of the cathode ray tubes used to provide the picture. Over the years television sets became smaller and eventually the LCD television was introduced providing clearer, sharper and richer pictures. Screens are larger but the units have thinner profiles and are much lighter to carry. Similarly, over time, labels have also become smaller yet deliver the same protection to stop shoplifting for retailers.


Labels are adhesive electronic article surveillance tags that are applied to merchandise simply by pulling them off a roll and sticking them to a product. The labels contain a circuit that sends out a radio frequency wave and electronic article surveillance pedestals detect that wave. You may have noticed pedestals near the doors leading in and out of a store and in some instances near halls leading to areas where merchandise is prohibited such as restrooms. Pedestals can pick up the radio waves from labels even when the merchandise they are attached to is concealed inside of something. When pedestals detect a label an alarm is activated sounding a loud chirping or beeping noise and flashing LED lights. The alarms attract the attention of employees and they conduct thorough receipt checks and stop shoplifting from taking place before the thief leaves the store.


 There was a time when these labels were relatively large and took up a lot of space on the packaging of merchandise. I remember trying to apply them to packages of medicine and had to be careful I did not conceal warning information or ingredients that could interact with other medications a customer might be taking. There were some items I had to forego protecting because the labels were covering up vital information that had to be seen. Now there are smaller, clear labels available and that problem has almost been entirely wiped out. The labels have a clear viewing window that allows consumers to read critical information on a package while allowing retailers to protect their products. The window on these small labels allows a barcode to be scanned something larger labels could cover up in the past. As a Loss Prevention Manager I wanted to protect as many items as I could especially since we had known theft issues in our over-the-counter medicines and cosmetics. These high theft departments were also the ones that posed the greatest difficulty in tagging so I could stop shoplifting that was taking place. I have no doubt whatsoever that clear labels would have significantly aided in shortage reduction in these areas. Smaller tags equals more merchandise protection and you can never have too much of that.


 Retailers, bigger is better when it comes to income from customer purchases. Smaller is better when it comes to shortage numbers. Take my advice, use labels and especially the clear labels along with electronic article surveillance pedestals and see BIG results in your next inventory.


For more information about labels contact us or call 1.770.426.0547.