The grocery store business, in my opinion, is an interesting market where shortage is concerned. The profit margins are not very high, I have seen numbers range as low as 1% and as high as 3%. Whether it is the high or low end, this is not a lot of room for profit and it means that shortage control is critical in keeping the profits as high as possible. Grocery stores have to be concerned with shortage in several forms, expiration dates, vendor shortage, internal theft and shoplifting. Checkpoint labels can be an effective tool for any grocery store or supermarket to use to stop shoplifting and deter employee theft.
I will admit, I am limited in my experience in the grocery industry. As a teenager I bagged groceries, mopped the floors, stocked shelves and occasionally I priced canned goods. In my years as a retail store executive I had a little more exposure to the food industry. We did have food in our store, but it was somewhat limited when compared to even a small, corner grocery store and it did not include fresh meats. We had the frozen fish, frozen burgers in boxes, frozen pizzas, etcetera, but nothing that was really a major concern as far as theft goes. Also, having spent years in retail loss prevention, I was aware that grocery stores have smaller profit margins and need to stop shoplifting and other shortage to protect what profits they do make. I was NOT aware that theft from the meat department is one of the highest theft areas for grocery stores and can be a difficult area to control.
In order to help prevent food theft, the 4210 EP RF Checkpoint labels were designed to be safe for meat or other fresh foods and it can be placed on plastic wrap or under a meat soaker pad. Depending on how a merchant has the meat packaged the tagging can be done at the source or in store, so it is perfect for any food market. By having a Checkpoint system in place including antennas at the doors and using the Checkpoint labels, a store can stop shoplifting through deterrence or merchandise recovery.
I was in a grocery store a few years ago and happened to be looking in the fresh meat section when I noticed a customer standing near me. I noticed the “customer” quickly select several steaks and then make eye contact with me. He walked away and a few minutes later we happened to pass each other and the steaks weren’t in his hand any longer, but I noticed his shirt was untucked, he had no other items in his hands at that point and he seemed to be checking his waist band. I was curious at this point (I confess, I am nosey) and I followed the guy to the checkout lane where he picked up a pack of gum and stood in line. I don’t like shoplifters and I could not say for sure he had taken anything, but I wanted to make him uncomfortable if he had stolen the meat so I stood in line behind him. He was clearly uncomfortable, possibly from me being behind him or more likely from the cold he was experiencing from his hidden merchandise. Well, the “customer” bought his gum and left but his shifting from leg to leg and pants adjustments while he was in line gave me some entertainment and satisfaction that IF he had stolen the meat, it was not an easy theft.
I tell this story because it is a prime example of how the theft of meat and other food items are a very real problem for grocers. Stop shoplifting from happening in your store, invest in Checkpoint labels for your fresh food department and savor the savings you will see in increased profit margin.
For more information about Checkpoint labels, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547