Shrinking Clothing Shortage With Tags

 

Clothing security-3                                                                                                           WC Blog 579
Checkpoint Tags-3
Shrinking Clothing Shortage With Checkpoint Tags
     Sometimes we need facts and statistics to help us understand why something needs to be treated with importance and clothing security is no different. If you are a retail owner selling any type of clothing lines you should find the following statistics from the 2017 National Retail Federation’s National Retail Security Survey interesting and disturbing:
Inventory shrink for the apparel sector grew from 1.2% in 2016 to 1.36% in 2017 (pg.8)
15 of 26 apparel respondents to the survey said shrink had grown in their stores (pg.8)
In apparel, both shoplifting (41%) and employee theft (35.5%) were higher than the overall average for retailers (pg. 8)
In apparel only 4 of 22 respondents expect to have a higher LP budget in 2017 while 9 expect flat budgets and 2 expect lower budgets (pg. 9)
Apparel had an average loss of $1,132 per dishonest employee (pg. 14)
The average shoplifting incident in apparel was $974.37 (pg. 15) 
In apparel the average cost of return fraud was $968.81 (pg. 16)
Apparel retailers appear to be getting hammered from all sides when the numbers are examined. Inventory shrink is growing, shoplifting and employee theft are both increasing and it appears Loss Prevention budgets are staying flat or decreasing. The survey was taken using retail LP professionals, which means these were stores that are large enough to have an LP department of some type. Loss Prevention Systems Inc. founder and CEO Bill Bregar is concerned by theft in all retail locations but his company especially focuses on providing services to the small retail businesses. The national apparel chain stores are struggling with clothing security. How much more is the little guy which cannot afford a security staff? Bill suggests ALL retailers use Checkpoint tags on the clothes they sell, including the little guy.
     Checkpoint tags and Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) pedestals are part of a larger system designed to discourage shoplifting and employee theft. The tags pin to the garment and can only be removed with a special detachment tool controlled by the store. Tags have integrated coils that continuously send out radio frequency (rf) waves. Merchandise that is tagged is picked up by the pedestals acting as rf receivers. Walk out with goods protected by a tag and the pedestal alarm blasts out an alert that can be heard throughout the largest stores. Shoplifters enter a store with a pedestal and they become much more cautious knowing they may set off an alarm if they steal. The thief looks at merchandise and sees everything has a Checkpoint tag and they usually make the choice to leave the store alone. For the foolhardy criminal who chooses to test the system, they set off the alarm when they walk up with tagged products. Often the result is dropped merchandise but when it isn’t, a quick response from trained employees is enough to conduct receipt checks and merchandise is retrieved. Though I have referenced shoplifters, employees who may consider stealing face the same obstacles if they make a decision to take something without paying. EAS makes no distinction between a crooked employee and a crooked customer.
     So you may be wondering if a store that has an EAS system must also have security staff to answer alarms. The answer is no. I was a Loss Prevention Manager for a company that had numerous changes to our security teams. Sometimes I had a budget that allowed me ample people to staff the front of the store and to walk the floor seeking out shoplifters. At other times, I had little or no budget for a person to staff the front end. I always had to train store employees, usually cashiers and front-end supervisors to be prepared to respond to alarms. They were not apprehending anyone they were just trained to conduct thorough receipt and package checks. They resolved alarm activations caused by clothing security tags or other retail anti-theft devices. With training, employees who are not Loss Prevention Specialists are quite capable of handling an alarm and recovering unpaid merchandise. You don’t have to have an Loss Prevention staff to have an effective Checkpoint System.
     Shoplifting and employee theft do not seem to be going away. Retail shrink, especially in the apparel sector continues to climb at a higher rate than that of other retail markets. If national chain stores continue to experience such losses then you can be sure your business will be impacted as well. Use Checkpoint tags on your clothing goods and add Checkpoint towers at your entry and exit doors and you will dramatically reduce theft in your store. The result will be declining shortage and that means more profit for your business.
Clothing security is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.
     

Sometimes we need facts and statistics to help us understand why something needs to be treated with importance and clothing security is no different. If you are a retail owner selling any type of clothing lines you should find the following statistics from the 2017 National Retail Federation’s National Retail Security Survey interesting and disturbing:

Inventory shrink for the apparel sector grew from 1.2% in 2016 to 1.36% in 2017 (pg.8)

15 of 26 apparel respondents to the survey said shrink had grown in their stores (pg.8)

In apparel, both shoplifting (41%) and employee theft (35.5%) were higher than the overall average for retailers (pg. 8)

In apparel only 4 of 22 respondents expect to have a higher LP budget in 2017 while 9 expect flat budgets and 2 expect lower budgets (pg. 9)

Apparel had an average loss of $1,132 per dishonest employee (pg. 14)

The average shoplifting incident in apparel was $974.37 (pg. 15) 

In apparel the average cost of return fraud was $968.81 (pg. 16)

Apparel retailers appear to be getting hammered from all sides when the numbers are examined. Inventory shrink is growing, shoplifting and employee theft are both increasing and it appears Loss Prevention budgets are staying flat or decreasing. The survey was taken using retail LP professionals, which means these were stores that are large enough to have an LP department of some type. Loss Prevention Systems Inc. founder and CEO Bill Bregar is concerned by theft in all retail locations but his company especially focuses on providing services to the small retail businesses. The national apparel chain stores are struggling with clothing security. How much more is the little guy which cannot afford a security staff? Bill suggests ALL retailers use clothing tags on the clothes they sell, including the little guy.

Clothing tags and Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) pedestals are part of a larger system designed to discourage shoplifting and employee theft. The tags pin to the garment and can only be removed with a special detachment tool controlled by the store. Tags have integrated coils that continuously send out radio frequency (rf) waves. Merchandise that is tagged is picked up by the pedestals acting as rf receivers. Walk out with goods protected by a tag and the pedestal alarm blasts out an alert that can be heard throughout the largest stores. Shoplifters enter a store with a pedestal and they become much more cautious knowing they may set off an alarm if they steal. The thief looks at merchandise and sees everything has a hard tag and they usually make the choice to leave the store alone. For the foolhardy criminal who chooses to test the system, they set off the alarm when they walk up with tagged products. Often the result is dropped merchandise but when it isn’t, a quick response from trained employees is enough to conduct receipt checks and merchandise is retrieved. Though I have referenced shoplifters, employees who may consider stealing face the same obstacles if they make a decision to take something without paying. EAS makes no distinction between a crooked employee and a crooked customer.

So you may be wondering if a store that has an EAS system must also have security staff to answer alarms. The answer is no. I was a Loss Prevention Manager for a company that had numerous changes to our security teams. Sometimes I had a budget that allowed me ample people to staff the front of the store and to walk the floor seeking out shoplifters. At other times, I had little or no budget for a person to staff the front end. I always had to train store employees, usually cashiers and front-end supervisors to be prepared to respond to alarms. They were not apprehending anyone they were just trained to conduct thorough receipt and package checks. They resolved alarm activations caused by clothing security tags or other retail anti-theft devices. With training, employees who are not Loss Prevention Specialists are quite capable of handling an alarm and recovering unpaid merchandise. You don’t have to have an Loss Prevention staff to have an effective EAS System.

Shoplifting and employee theft do not seem to be going away. Retail shrink, especially in the apparel sector continues to climb at a higher rate than that of other retail markets. If national chain stores continue to experience such losses then you can be sure your business will be impacted as well. Use clothing tags on your clothing goods and add EAS towers at your entry and exit doors and you will dramatically reduce theft in your store. The result will be declining shortage and that means more profit for your business.

 

Clothing security is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.     

 

Clothing Security Is Affordable And Will Add Profit To Your Bottom Line

Clothing Security-4                                                                                                                                WC Blog 565
Clothing security tags-5


Clothing Security Is Affordable And Will Add Profit To Your Bottom Line

     I want to address the problem of clothing security, how big an issue it is and how stores can prevent shoplifting. This issue is important to me because I have spent almost 28 years in the retail industry and about 19 of those years were in Retail Loss Prevention. I saw the problems shoplifting caused in a big box retail store and know that the issue is amplified for smaller retailers. While a 1% inventory shrinkage is a drain on stores that may do 30 or 40 million in sales a year, that same 1% is shortage for a store that does a million in sales is $10,000. That may not even sound like a lot until you consider that the profit margin of a specialty clothing retailer ranges from 4% to 13% with average net margins at just below 8% according to quora.com in an article titled, “What is the average profit margin earned by apparel retailers (brick and mortar and e-commerce/online retailers) and/or distributors?” As a source of information they referenced an article from Forbes in 2017. That means the average profit margin dollars for a clothing retailer with sales of a million dollars a year would be $80,000. This may not sound too bad to some people. But consider this, according to score.org, citing a Gallup poll it was found that 39% of business owners said they work over 60 hours a week. My admiration for the risk-takers who are investing time, money and sweat in their small businesses is tremendous. I detest those criminals who steal, whether it is a spontaneous decision, a theft for a perceived need or an organized theft ring.  I am not the only one who gets his hackles up over shoplifting. The CEO and founder of Loss Prevention Systems Inc., Bill Bregar does as well. He has developed his company to assist stores in preventing shortage due to theft and fraud encouraging the use of anti-theft devices such as clothing security tags.

     You may be one of those small business owners who is thinking to yourself that you could use some help in reducing your losses and adding money back to your bottom line. The problem you have is that you have no idea how clothing security tags work or even where to begin to start to address the issues. Not to worry, I am going to give you the information you need to get a better handle on what anti-theft systems and devices are. When I am discussing retail anti-theft systems for clothing security (as well as other merchandise) I am talking about an electronic article surveillance (EAS) system. The system operates using radio frequency (rf) waves transmitted by clothing security tags and received by EAS Pedestals. The tags are pinned to clothing and are built so that they are nearly indestructible and cannot be removed without the use of a special detachment key. If a shoplifter walks into the area of a pedestal (located near the doors of a store) the pedestal picks up the rf signal from the tag and blasts out a loud screeching alarm and flashes built in lights. Store employees approach the customer who activated the alarm and complete receipt checks and recover unpaid merchandise from the offender. The wonderful thing about clothing security tags and EAS pedestals is that just the presence of them in a store deters most shoplifters. Criminals do not tend to want to attract attention so they go to places where they are less likely to do something to get noticed like activate alarms.

      At this point I have your interest but I know what you are thinking, “There is NO WAY you could afford a retail anti-theft system even if I knew it would reduce my inventory shrink”. “Remember that $80,000 a year profit margin you mentioned?” That would be a good argument except Bill Bregar took that into consideration knowing the struggles small and medium business owners face. Visit the Loss Prevention Systems Inc. website and checkout the free Loss Prevention ROI Calculator he has available so store owners can see that not only can they afford a Checkpoint Security System the system actually pays for itself over time.  

         I have been in retail a long time and I have first-hand experience watching shoplifters struggle to try to defeat clothing security in stores. I have seen the frustration when a tag could not be forced off of a pair of jeans. I have seen the shock on the face of a woman who stuffed a box full of clothes protected with clothing security tags and the pedestal alarmed when she tried to walk out of the store. 

     Retail anti-theft devices work. There is no getting around it. If you want to run a more profitable store let Loss Prevention Systems Inc. help you get started with a clothing security strategy that works.
Clothing Security is importing and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.

I want to address the problem of clothing security, how big an issue it is and how stores can prevent shoplifting. This issue is important to me because I have spent almost 28 years in the retail industry and about 19 of those years were in Retail Loss Prevention. I saw the problems shoplifting caused in a big box retail store and know that the issue is amplified for smaller retailers. While a 1% inventory shrinkage is a drain on stores that may do 30 or 40 million in sales a year, that same 1% is shortage for a store that does a million in sales is $10,000. That may not even sound like a lot until you consider that the profit margin of a specialty clothing retailer ranges from 4% to 13% with average net margins at just below 8% according to quora.com in an article titled, “What is the average profit margin earned by apparel retailers (brick and mortar and e-commerce/online retailers) and/or distributors?” As a source of information they referenced an article from Forbes in 2017. That means the average profit margin dollars for a clothing retailer with sales of a million dollars a year would be $80,000. This may not sound too bad to some people. But consider this, according to score.org, citing a Gallup poll it was found that 39% of business owners said they work over 60 hours a week. My admiration for the risk-takers who are investing time, money and sweat in their small businesses is tremendous. I detest those criminals who steal, whether it is a spontaneous decision, a theft for a perceived need or an organized theft ring.  I am not the only one who gets his hackles up over shoplifting. The CEO and founder of Loss Prevention Systems Inc., Bill Bregar does as well. He has developed his company to assist stores in preventing shortage due to theft and fraud encouraging the use of anti-theft devices such as clothing security tags.
     

You may be one of those small business owners who is thinking to yourself that you could use some help in reducing your losses and adding money back to your bottom line. The problem you have is that you have no idea how clothing security tags work or even where to begin to start to address the issues. Not to worry, I am going to give you the information you need to get a better handle on what anti-theft systems and devices are. When I am discussing retail anti-theft systems for clothing security (as well as other merchandise) I am talking about an electronic article surveillance (EAS) system. The system operates using radio frequency (rf) waves transmitted by clothing security tags and received by EAS Pedestals. The tags are pinned to clothing and are built so that they are nearly indestructible and cannot be removed without the use of a special detachment key. If a shoplifter walks into the area of a pedestal (located near the doors of a store) the pedestal picks up the rf signal from the tag and blasts out a loud screeching alarm and flashes built in lights. Store employees approach the customer who activated the alarm and complete receipt checks and recover unpaid merchandise from the offender. The wonderful thing about clothing security tags and EAS pedestals is that just the presence of them in a store deters most shoplifters. Criminals do not tend to want to attract attention so they go to places where they are less likely to do something to get noticed like activate alarms.
     

At this point I have your interest but I know what you are thinking, “There is NO WAY you could afford a retail anti-theft system even if I knew it would reduce my inventory shrink”. “Remember that $80,000 a year profit margin you mentioned?” That would be a good argument except Bill Bregar took that into consideration knowing the struggles small and medium business owners face. Visit the Loss Prevention Systems Inc. website and checkout the free Loss Prevention ROI Calculator he has available so store owners can see that not only can they afford an electronic article surveillance system the system actually pays for itself over time.  
         

I have been in retail a long time and I have first-hand experience watching shoplifters struggle to try to defeat clothing security in stores. I have seen the frustration when a tag could not be forced off of a pair of jeans. I have seen the shock on the face of a woman who stuffed a box full of clothes protected with clothing security tags and the pedestal alarmed when she tried to walk out of the store. 
     

Retail anti-theft devices work. There is no getting around it. If you want to run a more profitable store let Loss Prevention Systems Inc. help you get started with a clothing security strategy that works.

 

Clothing Security is importing and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.

Clothing Security Tags Improve Shortage Results And Profits

The store I work for is preparing for inventory and that preparation has made me think about electronic article surveillance and other things that make a difference in store shortage results. As a Loss Prevention Manager with 13 years of experience and an additional 5+ years of Retail Loss Prevention Associate experience I have a number of pointers I would like to share. My tips are just those, tips and suggestions but they served me well in my work in big box retail stores so they can help you too. What are some of the issues that can have a negative effect on a store inventory and what are the solutions?

Problem: The biggest obstacle to ensuring you have great inventory results is a failure to use clothing security tags and electronic article surveillance towers in your store. Without merchandise protection shoplifters and dishonest employees are free to steal and there is no way to recover these losses.

Solution: Install electronic article surveillance towers at your points of entry and exit. Also, use clothing security tags on all of the merchandise your store sells.

You may be wondering what good this will do in preparation for this year’s inventory if it isn’t going to have an immediate impact. I will discuss that after I clarify what hard tags are and how they work.

 

Clothing security tags are retail anti-theft devices that are attached to merchandise and will activate alarms in electronic article surveillance towers. Tags can be hard tags that pin to merchandise and require a specially designed detachment tool to remove them. They also come in a soft label version that is peeled from a roll and adheres to product packaging or manufacturer tags. This type of tag cannot be removed but has to be deactivated at the point of sale where the pads are usually located. Both styles of tags provide a visible deterrent to shoplifters who might try to steal the products. As mentioned the tags also set off alarm towers when the protected merchandise is carried into the detection area of the towers. Alarms elicit employee response and merchandise is recovered from the bad guys. I should also note that they aid in preventing accidental loss when a cashier misses Bottom of Buggy items that are tagged.

What other obstacles can impede great store inventories? Other things I have encountered over the years include:     

Problem: Insufficient store preparation. Failing to look through all the places merchandise can fall or become hidden.   

Solution: Take the time to look under fixtures and on top of display cases for merchandise that may have fallen or been placed there by a customer. Also do a thorough inspection of stockroom areas for possible stray items. Cash register stands are notorious for small items dropping into nooks and crannies. I have found merchandise tossed on top of sunglass fixtures and inside of trash cans we sold. I have also found stashed goods in drink coolers and desk drawers. Rule of thumb, if it opens look inside of it. 

Problem: If you have merchandise on peg hooks and items get mixed up you could wind up with incorrect inventory counts. For example a peg hook may have a certain type of pen on it. If the first pen pack is not the same as the others and the inventory crew scans it and only counts the pieces behind it for a total quantity it will throw off inventory numbers.

Solutions: Have someone go through a few days before inventory and inspect all of the peg hooks. If you have too many pegged items, split the job up but get it done. Even if the packages are the same prices the store inventory counts will be off. 

 

Problem: Theft on inventory night by inventory or store personnel.     

Solutions: Be sure all items have clothing security tags on all merchandise and have someone monitoring the electronic article surveillance towers. Should an inventory team member or a store employee attempt to steal, you will have a chance to recover it at the towers.

Problem: Counters who are inaccurate.     

Solutions: Be sure to have random audits of all areas. I suggest focusing on last year high shrink departments and high dollar departments such as jewelry.     

 

While all the problems you could come across can’t be listed this is a good starting point. Loss Prevention Systems Inc. is also a great resource for information and technology to help you prevent theft and fraud in the future. They can help you improve your shortage results and make your store more profitable. 

 

Need information on clothing security tags? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.