Protecting Pegged Merchandise with the AutoPeg Tag
We struggled with finding the right solution for peg-hook merchandise and after a lot of experimentation (mostly trial and error), we settled on the AutoPeg Tag. The format of the stores was a dollar-plus channel, featuring a lot of high-shrink peg hook merchandise. Some examples are razors, batteries, consumer electronic accessories, and medications. These stores were typically only staffed with one to three people per shift, so merchandise protection was key.
Our first experiment was with locking peg hooks. While they seemed a natural solution to theft, it was way too manpower-intensive in our staffing model. We just couldn’t provide the level of service required to maintain the program, and the associates just decided to leave them unlocked. The next attempt was with standard anti-sweep peg hooks. While these showed a small shrink reduction, there were problems related to customer service issues and cleanliness. In our higher-risk locations, we experimented with the spiral anti-sweep hook, with mixed results. While shrink decreased dramatically, so did sales. The hassle of twisting a knob coupled with the loud noise the twisting caused (designed to draw attention) really turned off the honest customers.
Then, we heard about the AutoPeg Tag. It’s essentially a hard tag that serves a couple of purposes. In addition to being an EAS tag, it serves to reinforce the cardboard or blister pack that most pegged items are packaged in, defeating people who just rip them off the hook. The tags come off with standard detachers. Since we already had EAS in place, the tags were a natural fit. We had detachers already installed for higher risk items and our store staff was already trained in deactivation and alarm response. We had no negative feedback from customers about the AutoPeg Tag because it doesn’t interfere in any way with selecting the merchandise or reading the packaging. We didn’t want to resort to soft tags for that very reason; most associates would apply the tags haphazardly, interfering with the customer’s ability to read the package.
The tags are sturdy and re-usable; and they are not imposing at all to the honest customer and as a side benefit, we found that they kept our displays neater by keeping the product on the peg hook. They also didn’t make our store look like we had everything locked up, insulting and scaring honest customers by making the store look crime-ridden. They drastically reduced our shrink with no negative impact in the stores we tested it in and our next step was outfitting all of our stores with them in a phased roll-out.
The AutoPeg Tag was the best solution for our format to reduce shrink without compromising sales or customer service survey scores.
For more information about AutoPeg Tags contact us or call 1.770.426.0547.