Spending On Clothing Security Pays Off With Lower Shrinkage
Choosing the right solution to protect the clothing you sell can be a difficult decision to make. How much of what you carry should you protect? Do you protect certain price ranges? Do you protect only certain brands? I believe having clothing security measures in place can increase the profits of a store if properly administered by store owners or managers. Why do I say this? According to the 2014-2015 Global Retail Theft Barometer, in the section regarding retail shrinkage in North America, apparel specialty retailers experienced the second highest amount of theft as a division, following only pharmacies/drugstores. Shrink in the apparel market was measured at 1.98%! The report also states that apparel retailers spent less on loss prevention measures than they had in the previous year, from .39% as a percent of total sales to .24% in 2014-2015. The correlation between reduced spending on loss prevention and the increase in theft is clear. Spending on loss prevention, in this case clothing security, will improve profits lost due to theft.
Deciding on the type of clothing security to use will be up to you. There are a number of options on the market from which to choose. Possessing nearly 20 years of retail loss prevention experience, I will tell you that the first thing you need to do before worrying about types of clothing alarms is to ensure you have an electronic article surveillance (EAS) system in place. Without an alarm, most of your clothing security options will be of minimal usefulness mostly as visual deterrents. There are various clothing security tags to choose from, starting with the soft tag which has an adhesive back then the hard tags that attach to clothes with clips or lanyards. All of these clothing security tags will set off an EAS alarm antenna when someone attempts to exit a store with unpaid merchandise. As the store owner or manager you decide which would be the best option for a specific item. A lower priced t-shirt might be protected with a soft tag on a manufacturer tag. A pair of jeans however, may require a more substantial hard tag or apparel clip. The difference being, the soft tag could be potentially pulled off while with the other tags while the hard tag it is attached directly on the merchandise. The hard tag is very difficult to tamper with or remove without damaging the product. My recommendation is that the higher priced the item, the more difficult you want to make it for a thief and try to deter the theft in the first place.
At this point you may be wondering what your continual investments will be if you decide to tag clothing. Soft tags are attached to an item and they remain on the product, they are deactivated at the register with a deactivation pad. These tags would require continual replenishment at the store since they are not reusable. The hard clothing security tags are reusable. They are detached from merchandise at the register before the item is taken from the store after purchase. These clips and tags are then reused to tag new merchandise. If you take advantage of source tagging, the merchandise is tagged before it is shipped to you and you only send the tags and clips back to the vendor. Two benefits of source tagging are, there is no need to tag the merchandise in the store which costs payroll and all the merchandise from the vendor is tagged in a consistent manner. Too often merchandise tagged by store employees is inconsistent where the tags are placed. This creates problems at the register when cashiers try to find tags to be removed.
Clothing security should be on the top of your list in reducing shortage and increasing profits. Clothing theft and fraud is a significant problem and if 1.98% shortage in North America is the average what is it really costing your business by not investing in loss prevention measures?
For more information on clothing security, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547