Alcohol theft is a concern for stores that sell beer, wine and spirits and trying to find a solution to prevent shoplifting. You may operate a small retail store and sell alcoholic beverages in your establishment. You may have even experienced a shoplifter trying to steal a bottle or can here or there. As a Loss Prevention Manager for a national retail store that carried wine, I had the experience of stopping a few customers trying to steal alcohol. It was relatively new for our company to carry spirits so I did not see a lot of theft in this department but there was some. I knew a bottle or two could be concealed in a jacket or a purse, and I would even believe a thief could put one down their pants based on other items I had caught people stealing. I was shocked when I came across a story on the internet and confirmed by several websites of a shoplifter who stole 18 bottles of liquor by concealing them in her purse and under various parts of her clothing! http://fox6now.com/2017/08/23/watch-woman-caught-on-video-stealing-18-bottles-of-liquor-in-her-clothes/. The story was posted by Fox 6 now on August 23, 2017 and shows a store surveillance video of the woman as she was stealing. This theft as well as several others I found that were interesting may have been prevented if the stores had used electronic article surveillance (EAS) and Alpha Security tags to deter or detect the thefts.
If you do not use an EAS system in your store or are unfamiliar with it and Alpha Security tags allow me to explain what they are and how they prevent theft. EAS systems function by the use of radio frequency waves transmitted by hard and soft tags to activate tower alarms usually located by a store entrance and exit. You have probably observed these towers in stores regularly and simply not known what they are or what they do. If merchandise that is tagged with a hard or soft tag comes too close to a tower an alarm built into the tower is set off. The alarm elicits a response from store employees who conduct receipt checks and recover merchandise to prevent shoplifting (it also helps in recovering merchandise that is missed by a cashier during the checkout process which otherwise leads to operational shortage). Soft tags are peeled from rolls and can be applied to a variety of products and surfaces such as cardboard manufacturer hang tags, plastic blister packs and cellophane and shrink wraps. Hard tags either pin or clip to merchandise or in the case of bottle protection clamp over the bottle cap and part of the neck. In the situations I am describing above involving alcohol bottle thefts, the use of a lock such as the Alpha Security Versa Guard would have deterred the shoplifter or would have caused an alarm at the door as she neared it to leave.
Lest you think the case of the thirsty thief I discussed above was an isolated incident, in another story from sonomanews.com, November 9, 2017 by Bill Hoban, “Sonoma Market’s wine-stealing trio still at large”, the reporter refers to a case in which, “Sonoma Police are looking for three woman who are suspected of walking out of a Sonoma Market on Nov. 4, with more than $1,150 of high priced wine.” The story goes on to say that employees reported 22 bottles missing. http://www.sonomanews.com/news/7620008-181/wine-stealing-trio-at-large. That is roughly 7 bottles per person to not only conceal but carry out of a store. I have never visited this store but I can say that from the pictures I was able to view it does not appear Alpha Security bottle locks are being used or if they are it is in a limited manner. I will also say that from the picture of the three suspects leaving the store it does not appear there are EAS towers in use but the image could be misleading. If bottle locks are being used they should be used on all alcoholic beverages. Limiting what is tagged in a store only sends a would-be shoplifter to an item of a lower price point but you won’t prevent shoplifting from taking place. Finally, using bottle locks without an EAS system in place severely limits the effectiveness in theft prevention.
Alcohol theft is nothing to laugh about even if the thought of someone clinking out of a store with eighteen bottles hidden under their clothes and in a purse is amusing to consider. Don’t be a victim yourself, use Alpha Security bottle locks and an EAS system in your store to prevent shoplifting and keep profits up.
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