Avoid Physical Altercations With Shoplifters Use Keepers To Protect Merchandise

Prevent shoplifting-3                                                                                                                    wc blog 586
Retail Anti-Theft Devices-3
Alpha Keepers-4


Avoid Physical Altercations With Shoplifters Use Alpha Keepers To Protect Merchandise

     I have been working in retail for a very long time and much of that was in Loss Prevention where I would prevent shoplifting. I recently read an article in an online magazine about the thoughts readers had on a video of a teenager and Loss Prevention Associate in a physical altercation. Many of the readers felt that the Loss Prevention Agent was at least partially to blame. Now I am going to add my two cents to this issue but I want to make something clear first. Though I have been involved in altercations in my Loss Prevention Career and in MOST of the altercations there was no use of retail anti-theft devices such as Alpha Keepers to protect the merchandise from being stolen. My career dates back to 1990 when we were not using many protective devices on merchandise though they were available in limited designs. The department store I worked for had few guidelines for L.P. Associates so I was generally free to do what was necessary to catch the bud guy (or gal). If someone chose to struggle or I felt they might flee I could grab a fistful of shirt or a belt to control the suspect. If a thief chose to fight there was no requirement for us to be punching bags or throw up our hands and say maybe I’ll get you next time. Drop the merchandise and we might let you run off. We could also be reasonably sure the police were going to be at our store within minutes of a call for assistance. Later, when I was a Loss Prevention Manager for another company we had more restrictions but we were not required to have to let someone go if they assaulted us. We had by this time begun to use more protective devices including Alpha Keepers for open display video game software.

     I know most of you are familiar with the retail anti-theft devices on the market but you may not know about Alpha Keepers. Keepers are clear, hard plastic boxes with locking lids. Inside the lid is the heart of the unit that communicates with the electronic article surveillance towers stores install at their entrances and exits. A Keeper box triggers the sensor in the surveillance towers when it is carried in the detection range of the towers. The other key component is the tamper alarm for the box if a shoplifter tried to force it open. Both alarms are loud enough to draw the attention of store workers who respond and prevent shoplifting and recover merchandise through customer service and/or receipt checks. My first experience with these devices made me a believer as I saw dramatic decreases of shortage in video games we placed on open endcap displays.

     I do have my thoughts on the question posed in the article and they are mixed. There was a time I would have absolutely had no qualms about Loss Prevention employees using force to prevent crooks from getting away. I would say I now am in favor of a measured response. To tie the hands of trained Loss Prevention Associates and have an absolute 100% hands-off policy is asking for trouble. I am convinced that once that policy is in place your efforts to prevent shoplifting will be almost useless unless you are aggressively using retail anti-theft devices. You must also ensure employees are trained on quick responses to EAS alarms and how to conduct THOROUGH receipt and bag checks.

      Alpha Keepers and other devices will deter the shoplifter who is acting on a whim. Those who are professionals or aggressive will not be deterred in your store and will ignore attempts to stop them and should an employee try to stand in front of them they will shove their way past. The word will get out about your policy and it will be taken advantage of. What will your policy be if an employee is shoved? Are you going to allow the police to be called? Some stores won’t. Are you going to file a police report for shoplifting? Many do not and even if you want to can you tell the police what was stolen? My position is that I don’t want an altercation but the current trend of throwing up hands and allowing thieves to walk all over stores is foolish. 

     
     All of the above said, a hands off policy is probably the best option for a store with no L.P. staff. Whether you allow some contact or no contact you still need to prevent theft of DVD’s, CD’s, video games and more with Alpha Keepers. Keep your merchandise safe and more importantly your staff safe and Keepers will help do both.
Get more information on Alpha Keepers, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today 
     

I have been working in retail for a very long time and much of that was in Loss Prevention where I would prevent shoplifting. I recently read an article in an online magazine about the thoughts readers had on a video of a teenager and Loss Prevention Associate in a physical altercation. Many of the readers felt that the Loss Prevention Agent was at least partially to blame. Now I am going to add my two cents to this issue but I want to make something clear first. Though I have been involved in altercations in my Loss Prevention Career and in MOST of the altercations there was no use of retail anti-theft devices such as  Keepers to protect the merchandise from being stolen. My career dates back to 1990 when we were not using many protective devices on merchandise though they were available in limited designs. The department store I worked for had few guidelines for L.P. Associates so I was generally free to do what was necessary to catch the bud guy (or gal). If someone chose to struggle or I felt they might flee I could grab a fistful of shirt or a belt to control the suspect. If a thief chose to fight there was no requirement for us to be punching bags or throw up our hands and say maybe I’ll get you next time. Drop the merchandise and we might let you run off. We could also be reasonably sure the police were going to be at our store within minutes of a call for assistance. Later, when I was a Loss Prevention Manager for another company we had more restrictions but we were not required to have to let someone go if they assaulted us. We had by this time begun to use more protective devices including Keepers for open display video game software.
     

I know most of you are familiar with the retail anti-theft devices on the market but you may not know about Keepers. Keepers are clear, hard plastic boxes with locking lids. Inside the lid is the heart of the unit that communicates with the electronic article surveillance towers stores install at their entrances and exits. A Keeper box triggers the sensor in the surveillance towers when it is carried in the detection range of the towers. The other key component is the tamper alarm for the box if a shoplifter tried to force it open. Both alarms are loud enough to draw the attention of store workers who respond and prevent shoplifting and recover merchandise through customer service and/or receipt checks. My first experience with these devices made me a believer as I saw dramatic decreases of shortage in video games we placed on open endcap displays.
     

I do have my thoughts on the question posed in the article and they are mixed. There was a time I would have absolutely had no qualms about Loss Prevention employees using force to prevent crooks from getting away. I would say I now am in favor of a measured response. To tie the hands of trained Loss Prevention Associates and have an absolute 100% hands-off policy is asking for trouble. I am convinced that once that policy is in place your efforts to prevent shoplifting will be almost useless unless you are aggressively using retail anti-theft devices. You must also ensure employees are trained on quick responses to EAS alarms and how to conduct THOROUGH receipt and bag checks.
     

Keepers and other devices will deter the shoplifter who is acting on a whim. Those who are professionals or aggressive will not be deterred in your store and will ignore attempts to stop them and should an employee try to stand in front of them they will shove their way past. The word will get out about your policy and it will be taken advantage of. What will your policy be if an employee is shoved? Are you going to allow the police to be called? Some stores won’t. Are you going to file a police report for shoplifting? Many do not and even if you want to can you tell the police what was stolen? My position is that I don’t want an altercation but the current trend of throwing up hands and allowing thieves to walk all over stores is foolish. 
          

All of the above said, a hands off policy is probably the best option for a store with no L.P. staff. Whether you allow some contact or no contact you still need to prevent theft of DVD’s, CD’s, video games and more with Keepers. Keep your merchandise safe and more importantly your staff safe and Keepers will help do both.

 

Get more information on Keepers, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today      

Keepers Are The Answer To Lock-Up Case Lunacy

 Prevent Shoplifting –  3                                                                                                           WC Blog 547
Alpha Keepers-5

Alpha Keepers Are The Answer To Lock-Up Case Lunacy

     From time to time I find the need to go on a rant about efforts I see to prevent shoplifting after visiting different stores. I have to wonder who is making some of the decisions with respect to shortage protection initiatives. The other day I was shopping in a chain store and glanced at a small locking display case. Because I write about this stuff and because I have been involved in Retail Loss Prevention for so long I happen to be nosey about these things. What could be so important in this store (if I said where I was you would probably say the same thing) that there would be a need for a locking showcase? Well, there was some type of pay-as you-go cell phone and a $1 dollar phone card of some sort. You read that right, a ONE dollar card. A little further down the same aisle were foods that were more expensive! Now I will be generous and say that this might have been a fluke. However, I got to another aisle that had air freshener refills in one of those cases that sounds a chiming noise when the door is opened by a customer. I thought that the strategy was really odd. If shortage was an issue in these departments it would have been easier and made more sense to use Alpha Keepers on the items that were being “secured”.

     Alpha Keepers are clear, hard protective boxes with locking lids. The boxes have electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology built into them that is designed to work with Checkpoint Security System towers. The boxes are extremely tough and can only be opened with a detachment tool usually kept secured at store points of sale. Efforts to force open a Keeper box results in a tamper alarm sounding and alerting store employees to an attempted theft. Responding associates prevent shoplifting by providing great customer service to the would-be thief. If a criminal is foolish enough to try to carry an item protected in a Keeper past a Checkpoint tower the tower will sense the radio waves sent out by the Keeper. An alarm in the tower sounds at the attempted breach. Again, associates respond to the alarms and through careful receipt checks get the perpetrator to buy the item or hand it over. Either way theft is stopped.

         Not only was I amused by the merchandise that was locked up in these showcases I was surprised that ANYTHING was locked up in the store. There were two employees working from what I could see. One was at the cash register (before she left the salesfloor for some reason, maybe a break?) and the other was on the salesfloor absorbed in putting out merchandise. Who was going to help me if I had wanted to look at something in a showcase? From the pace of the salesfloor guy I did not get the impression he was going to be in a hurry to assist me if I opened the chime door to the air freshener refills. CEO of Loss Prevention Systems Inc., Bill Bregar understands that for small and medium sized stores staffing could be limited to one or two people in the store at any given time. Locking merchandise in a showcase doesn’t make sense when store employees may be tied up at a register or at the other end of the store helping another customer. The only thing it may do is annoy a customer or prevent a sale. Sure, merchandise will be protected as it sits and does absolutely nothing to assist sales. Bill wants store managers to see that by using Alpha Keepers merchandise is still protected but customers can pick up an item and walk around. There is no need for a sales person to come by with a key and unlock it. Protected merchandise will sell rather than gather dust in a case.

     The other take away in this is either protect merchandise or don’t protect it. If a manager is going to limit what will be protected, at least have it make sense. Don’t put an air freshener refill in a security case to prevent shoplifting and leave the main air fresheners on an open sell shelf. Don’t take up valuable salesfloor space with a locking showcase for a one dollar card of some sort. Alpha Keepers give more flexibility in what can be protected and take up less floor space in the process.

     Take theft prevention seriously. Let the folks at Loss Prevention Systems Inc. help you in shortage reduction planning and the tools that can make you successful. Alpha Keepers can improve access to goods while freeing up your employees to provide customer service and ring sales. 
Alpha Keepers are important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.
      

From time to time I find the need to go on a rant about efforts I see to prevent shoplifting after visiting different stores. I have to wonder who is making some of the decisions with respect to shortage protection initiatives. The other day I was shopping in a chain store and glanced at a small locking display case. Because I write about this stuff and because I have been involved in Retail Loss Prevention for so long I happen to be nosey about these things. What could be so important in this store (if I said where I was you would probably say the same thing) that there would be a need for a locking showcase? Well, there was some type of pay-as you-go cell phone and a $1 dollar phone card of some sort. You read that right, a ONE dollar card. A little further down the same aisle were foods that were more expensive! Now I will be generous and say that this might have been a fluke. However, I got to another aisle that had air freshener refills in one of those cases that sounds a chiming noise when the door is opened by a customer. I thought that the strategy was really odd. If shortage was an issue in these departments it would have been easier and made more sense to use Keepers on the items that were being “secured”.
     

Keepers are clear, hard protective boxes with locking lids. The boxes have electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology built into them that is designed to work with an EAS System towers. The boxes are extremely tough and can only be opened with a detachment tool usually kept secured at store points of sale. Efforts to force open a Keeper box results in a tamper alarm sounding and alerting store employees to an attempted theft. Responding associates prevent shoplifting by providing great customer service to the would-be thief. If a criminal is foolish enough to try to carry an item protected in a Keeper past an EAS tower the tower will sense the radio waves sent out by the Keeper. An alarm in the tower sounds at the attempted breach. Again, associates respond to the alarms and through careful receipt checks get the perpetrator to buy the item or hand it over. Either way theft is stopped.
         

Not only was I amused by the merchandise that was locked up in these showcases I was surprised that ANYTHING was locked up in the store. There were two employees working from what I could see. One was at the cash register (before she left the salesfloor for some reason, maybe a break?) and the other was on the salesfloor absorbed in putting out merchandise. Who was going to help me if I had wanted to look at something in a showcase? From the pace of the salesfloor guy I did not get the impression he was going to be in a hurry to assist me if I opened the chime door to the air freshener refills. CEO of Loss Prevention Systems Inc., Bill Bregar understands that for small and medium sized stores staffing could be limited to one or two people in the store at any given time. Locking merchandise in a showcase doesn’t make sense when store employees may be tied up at a register or at the other end of the store helping another customer. The only thing it may do is annoy a customer or prevent a sale. Sure, merchandise will be protected as it sits and does absolutely nothing to assist sales. Bill wants store managers to see that by using Keepers merchandise is still protected but customers can pick up an item and walk around. There is no need for a sales person to come by with a key and unlock it. Protected merchandise will sell rather than gather dust in a case.
     

The other take away in this is either protect merchandise or don’t protect it. If a manager is going to limit what will be protected, at least have it make sense. Don’t put an air freshener refill in a security case to prevent shoplifting and leave the main air fresheners on an open sell shelf. Don’t take up valuable salesfloor space with a locking showcase for a one dollar card of some sort. Keepers give more flexibility in what can be protected and take up less floor space in the process.
     

Take theft prevention seriously. Let the folks at Loss Prevention Systems Inc. help you in shortage reduction planning and the tools that can make you successful. Keepers can improve access to goods while freeing up your employees to provide customer service and ring sales. 

 

Keepers are important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.      

Showcases Slow Down Sales; Use Gaming Keepers Instead


Prevent Shoplifting – 3                                                                                                       WC Blog 531
Gaming Keepers-4
Alpha Keepers-4

Showcases Slow Down Sales; Use Gaming Keepers Instead

     I just had an experience at a big box retailer that made me turn to my wife and tell her I had to get home because I had to write about how to prevent shoplifting. No, it wasn’t what the store or the associate did right that got me into a ranting mood it was what they were doing wrong that got my attention. It also got me to thinking what the CEO of Loss Prevention Systems Inc. Bill Bregar would say to the employee if he had been in my shoes. My wife and I were shopping for a video game as a gift for one of our son’s upcoming birthday. Now this store uses lock-up display cases for many of their video games, mostly the newer games on the market. I don’t like display cases but I get it, many stores don’t know about the benefits of Alpha Keepers to protect electronics. HOWEVER, this store already uses gaming keepers to prevent shoplifting of…you guessed it, VIDEO GAMES!

     I will continue with my rant momentarily but I want to be sure everyone knows what I am referencing when I talk about Alpha Keepers. They are see-through, tough, plastic cases that function using electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology. The boxes allow merchants to avoid the hassle of unlocking merchandise in a showcase. The showcase is supposed to require an employee to remove an item, allow one or two things to be looked at and the employee carries the item(s) to the register for the customer. A Keeper allows a customer like me to view the item, read labels and carry it around the store until I am ready to make a purchase. No assistance is required so staff members can help more customers in a store and drive sales. Should a customer turn out to be a shoplifter and try to walk out the door with merchandise protected in gaming keepers an EAS tower at the doors will detect the keeper and sound an alarm. Front end employees respond to the alarm and retrieve the merchandise from the would-be thief.

     What could have possibly happened that would make me so insane? I located the game I wanted in the showcase. No employees were in the immediate vicinity so I walked to the cash stand and found an employee cleaning around the register. The employee said she would be with me in a minute. I walked back to the showcase and waited for a couple minutes and the employee finally came over. She unlocked the case with her key and removed the game, closed and locked the case and handed me the game. I asked if I had to pay for it at the cash stand where she had been. No, I could continue shopping and pay for it up front. I am not sure how a store can prevent shoplifting if they are locking merchandise up only to hand it over to a customer. My wife and I took the game and walked through the rest of the electronics department. I came to a dump bin filled with marked down video games and all of them were secured in gaming keepers! I just shook my head in disbelief. 

     I have to wonder how much money has been lost in markdowns for these games that did not sell when they were new and popular. Had the store trusted the protection of Alpha Keepers to put the games within the reach of customers when they were new releases there would not be as many on hand today. Customers do not want to wait for assistance to browse merchandise. The effort to locate a sales associate and get them to assist you at a display case can be frustrating and there is no way to measure the lost sales this causes. By offering gaming keepers to their clients, Loss Prevention Systems Inc. sees the potential for increasing profits through sales and still delivering merchandise protection that reduces shortage.

     I bought the game and the store made their money but not all of their customers are me and neither are yours. Lost profit due to markdowns because of unnecessary showcases can be avoided. Get merchandise into the hands of your customers by using Alpha keepers for games and much more.
Need more information on gaming keepers? Contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today
      

I just had an experience at a big box retailer that made me turn to my wife and tell her I had to get home because I had to write about how to prevent shoplifting. No, it wasn’t what the store or the associate did right that got me into a ranting mood it was what they were doing wrong that got my attention. It also got me to thinking what the CEO of Loss Prevention Systems Inc. Bill Bregar would say to the employee if he had been in my shoes. My wife and I were shopping for a video game as a gift for one of our son’s upcoming birthday. Now this store uses lock-up display cases for many of their video games, mostly the newer games on the market. I don’t like display cases but I get it, many stores don’t know about the benefits of Keepers to protect electronics. HOWEVER, this store already uses gaming keepers to prevent shoplifting of…you guessed it, VIDEO GAMES!
     

I will continue with my rant momentarily but I want to be sure everyone knows what I am referencing when I talk about Keepers. They are see-through, tough, plastic cases that function using electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology. The boxes allow merchants to avoid the hassle of unlocking merchandise in a showcase. The showcase is supposed to require an employee to remove an item, allow one or two things to be looked at and the employee carries the item(s) to the register for the customer. A Keeper allows a customer like me to view the item, read labels and carry it around the store until I am ready to make a purchase. No assistance is required so staff members can help more customers in a store and drive sales. Should a customer turn out to be a shoplifter and try to walk out the door with merchandise protected in gaming keepers an EAS tower at the doors will detect the keeper and sound an alarm. Front end employees respond to the alarm and retrieve the merchandise from the would-be thief.
     

What could have possibly happened that would make me so insane? I located the game I wanted in the showcase. No employees were in the immediate vicinity so I walked to the cash stand and found an employee cleaning around the register. The employee said she would be with me in a minute. I walked back to the showcase and waited for a couple minutes and the employee finally came over. She unlocked the case with her key and removed the game, closed and locked the case and handed me the game. I asked if I had to pay for it at the cash stand where she had been. No, I could continue shopping and pay for it up front. I am not sure how a store can prevent shoplifting if they are locking merchandise up only to hand it over to a customer. My wife and I took the game and walked through the rest of the electronics department. I came to a dump bin filled with marked down video games and all of them were secured in gaming keepers! I just shook my head in disbelief. 
     

I have to wonder how much money has been lost in markdowns for these games that did not sell when they were new and popular. Had the store trusted the protection of Keepers to put the games within the reach of customers when they were new releases there would not be as many on hand today. Customers do not want to wait for assistance to browse merchandise. The effort to locate a sales associate and get them to assist you at a display case can be frustrating and there is no way to measure the lost sales this causes. By offering gaming keepers to their clients, Loss Prevention Systems Inc. sees the potential for increasing profits through sales and still delivering merchandise protection that reduces shortage.

 

 I bought the game and the store made their money but not all of their customers are me and neither are yours. Lost profit due to markdowns because of unnecessary showcases can be avoided. Get merchandise into the hands of your customers by using keepers for games and much more.

 

Need more information on gaming keepers? Contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today