Minimizing Merchandise Presentation To Prevent Theft May Hurt Sales; Alpha Keepers Allow Fuller Displays And Prevent Shoplifting
Balance. That is the key to driving profitable sales. Retailers have to be able to do those things necessary to increase sales while being smart about protecting against theft and fraud. This can seem like a catch-22 at times and lead to frustration. Do you fill your shelves with product and have it available for customers to purchase? Do you partially fill your shelves in hopes that patrons will buy the product before shoplifters steal it from the shelves? Maybe you put up locking display showcases and open them up when customers want to look at something? Balance is finding the happy medium that allows you to fill your store shelves, provide customer access to merchandise and prevent shoplifting all at the same time. That is not easy. Using Alpha Keepers retail anti-theft devices is the solution for maintaining that balance.
Alpha Keepers are durable, see-through boxes that allow product to be secured for protection, yet free to be handled by customers. Display cases require an employee with a key to unlock the door, show and monitor the merchandise as a customer looks it over and decides if it is something they want. Alpha Keepers allow the retailer to place merchandise directly on the shelf where it is available to the customer to handle. All package information can be read through the box, ingredients, contents, warnings, etc. The only difference between displaying items in the Keeper versus on an open display is that Alpha Keepers prevent shoplifting since they are very difficult to force open and they are electronic article surveillance (EAS) sensitive. In other words if a store is equipped with EAS antennas, when a shoplifter attempts to steal merchandise in a Keeper box, the antenna alarm will activate. That activation sounds an alert that warns employees unpaid items are being taken out of the store. Merchandise not protected by retail anti-theft devices results in drastic reductions to the profit margin due to theft. If they don’t prevent shoplifting, small to medium sized businesses may not be able to absorb those losses as easily as a major retailer and could go out of business.
Over the course of my career in retail I have seen store managers attempt to use different strategies to prevent shoplifting. One of those strategies is to reduce the amount of a product displayed on a shelf if that item is targeted by criminals. At first glance this sounds like a reasonable solution to the problem. There are issues with this strategy that retailers don’t consider. If that minimal amount of product runs out, due to sales or theft, how quickly does it get replenished for the next customer? Another concern noted in a booklet created by Iowa State University North Central Regional Center For Rural Development, titled “Visual Merchandising, A Guide For Small Retailers”, written by Holly Bastow-Shoop, North Dakota State University, Dale Zetocha, North Dakota State University and Gregory Passewitz, The Ohio State University, May 1991 http://ncrcrd.msu.edu/uploads/files/133/NCRCRD-rrd155-print.pdf “A window or display area with too little merchandise makes a store appear to be going out of business or, indicates to the customer that the establishment is less than prosperous.” (pg. 55).
A retailer cannot afford to lose sales because they have created a perception that the store is going out of business. I have first- hand experience that appearance does affect the shopping habits of customers. The store I currently work in was transitioning from a seasonal displays and preparing for the next seasonal set of shippers. In doing so we had clearance merchandise spread out and empty main aisles where shippers had been located. A customer was looking around and I offered her assistance. She said she was just looking but had a look of concern on her face. I asked if there was something specific she was looking for. She hesitated said “No”, and then asked me if the store was going out of business. I reassured her we were not, but due to merchandising that was what she perceived. This misperception was due to stocking/merchandising caused by the time of the year, but clearly if a store deliberately limits merchandise and displays look anemic customers may limit or stop shopping at that location.
Retail anti-theft devices such as Alpha Keepers allow a retailer to keep displays full for customers and increase sales. Customers can have the freedom to select merchandise and continue shopping. Owners can be confident merchandise will be paid for at the register.
Get more information on Alpha Keepers. Contact us at 1.770.426.0547 today.