Surprising Results When You Choose To Use Retail Anti-Theft Devices To Prevent Shoplifting
Surprises can be good and they can be not-so-good. Not long ago I received an unexpected Thank You card with a gift card inside of it for a restaurant chain. It was sent by an employer that for whom I work as a token of their appreciation. You can imagine my surprise at such a gift when it was completely out of the blue. To top it off, it came unbeknownst to the people in the office that sent it, on my wife and my 26th wedding anniversary! Several years ago my wife got our church friends to throw me a surprise birthday party. I am not a big fan of parties, especially when they are for me but the thoughtfulness of the get-together was overwhelming. Some surprises are not welcome like one time when I was working an overnight shift and the tire on our van blew out while my wife was driving it. I was not there to be able to assist her and she was not sure what to do. That same kind of surprise, something unexpected happening is part of what enhances the ability of retail anti-theft devices to prevent shoplifting.
Retail anti-theft devices such as the Alpha hang tag work in part because of the surprise a shoplifter gets when the tag activates the electronic article surveillance (EAS) towers at the front doors of a store. The Alpha hang tag is used on the hang tab of peg hook merchandise to make it difficult for a shoplifter to simply conceal the item in a pocket or purse and walk out of a store. For starters the tag prevents a thief from easily cutting merchandise off of a locking peg hook. The tag is a solid plastic material that snaps over the tab. It is designed to be removed at the point of sale only and requires a detachment key to take if off. For merchandise not on a locking peg hook it deters theft because the tags have a lock symbol on them and the words “security protected” printed on the front. If a criminal decides to try to steal product that has the tag on it the EAS towers sound a piercing alarm that gets the attention of store employees. This alarm frequently surprises the crook dumb enough to try to steal the item. The surprise of the alarm noise and flashing lights in the towers can and does prevent shoplifting by causing the bad guy to drop the goods. Dropped merchandise is recovered merchandise.
Thinking back on my Loss Prevention days I can recall a number of times when a shoplifter got near the doors with merchandise protected with retail anti-theft devices and the alarm was activated and a recovery was made due to dropped merchandise. I remember once when a customer had placed a pair of tagged sunglasses in his pocket and began to leave the store. The alarm sounded and he looked shocked, pulled the glasses out and tossed them down on the ground and ran. I had no intention of stopping him for theft since I had not seen the concealment but I was going to have my uniformed security officer stop him and conduct a receipt check. As it turned out it wasn’t necessary to do that. I have seen people walk up the doors, set off the alarm and as a cashier supervisor approached they pulled the item out and say that they forgot that they had placed it wherever it was they had concealed it. The power of an EAS alarm cannot be underestimated when you see it prevent shoplifting.
The element of surprise can work wonders when an Alpha hang tag and other EAS retail anti-theft devices are used to protect merchandise. It can be a nasty surprise for a shoplifter trying to get merchandise past EAS towers and the alarms activate. It can be a pleasant surprise for a retail owner when a tag deters a theft or causes merchandise to be dropped and a recovery is made. The payoff in reduced shortage and improved in-stocks will drive up sales and THAT is a VERY pleasant surprise indeed.
For more information about Alpha Hang Tag, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567