Clothing Security

Clothing Security Can Be A Problem In The New ERA Of Online Ordering And Parking Lot Pick-Ups Part 2

I am picking up where I left off in Part 1 with issues regarding online orders, pickups and problems that may not be foreseen including Sensormatic tags not being removed. I began considering this problem while working at my retail job as a sales specialist. It then took on a much larger scope when I saw reserved parking places at a Target store and a grocery retailer. I described in Part 1 how part of my job responsibilities include picking merchandise for orders that come through our mobile devices. Some of these orders are for in-store pickup and others I package and ship out via a delivery service. I thought about how easy it would be for me or anyone else to forget to remove or deactivate a retail anti-theft device from goods prior to shipping them or handing them to the customer. Drawing upon my Loss Prevention experiences I realized that it could be a big deal for businesses that sell garments. Fail to remove clothing security tags and the customer who receives the shipment won’t be able to wear it.  But this is not the only opportunity I thought about with online ordering and curbside delivery. What I would like to do is share some of the wins of an online service as well as other potential problems or challenges these services can present.

WINS:

  • Online orders open a world of new opportunities to sell products to customers who may never step foot into your city or town let alone your business. If they aren’t local the merchandise can be shipped to them. If they are local the store may see increased foot traffic. The first purchase may be a curbside delivery but that customer may come in on another trip.
  • Many customers today are busy and want a quick trip to the store. The ability to order and pick-up provides flexibility to the on-the-go consumer who has a jam packed schedule.
  • If a customer has a disability online ordering and curbside delivery provide a convenience so the customer does not have to get out of the vehicle to pick up what they need.
  • More customers shopping and ordering from your store online decreases the potential for shoplifting to a certain extent.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • If shipping merchandise out of the store how are you adding in the shipping costs? If you do add in a shipping cost is that going to dissuade some people from ordering? 
  • It is easy to forget about clothing security tags and other Sensormatic tags during the preparation process for shipping. I already covered the problem of clothes being received with a tag still on it but if the merchandise has a security label on it and it has not been detuned that can be an issue. For example if the item is a medicine box and the customer keeps the box in a purse or backpack to prevent the contents from spilling and they enter a store with an electronic article surveillance system they could set off an alarm. This could be an embarrassing moment for that customer.
  • While online orders may increase your overall presence with a quality website and search optimization there is the loss of opportunity for the impulse sales. Customers won’t be walking into the store so they won’t be influenced by your displays and signage. 

The reduced foot traffic is probably my biggest concern with the growing trend of online ordering and pick-ups. According to an article posted in Fox Business on Feb 24, 2018, “You Won’t Believe What the Average American Spends On Impulse Buys”, “The average American will spend more than $300,000 on “impulse buys” during their adult lifetime…”.  The article goes on to describe what types of things Americans will purchase on impulse. Included in the list are vacations, household items, unplanned food purchases and yes, clothing. That is a LOT of impulse buying not coming into a store. I don’t want to see stores hit by shoplifting and if you are using clothing security tags on your merchandise you can avoid most of that activity. I DO want to see customers entering your store.

 

If you are going to compete in the new market of online buying you are going to have to find creative ways to market to these shoppers but you also cannot neglect the shoppers still coming in to visit in the traditional manner. Use Sensormatic security tags to protect merchandise from theft and don’t forget to remove or deactivate them before shipping or delivering. Adapt to the new shopper but don’t forget the traditional customer or neglect merchandise protection as you do so.

 

Clothing security tags are important and we can help you with it. Call 1.966.914.2567 and let’s talk.

 

 

Clothing Security Can Be A Problem In The New ERA Of Online Ordering And Parking Lot Pick-Ups Part 1

 

Sensormatic hard tag: need 2
people counting
clothing security: need 2
safer

clothing Security-4                                                                                                       WC Blog 692
Sensormatic tags-3

Clothing Security Can Be A Problem In The New ERA Of Online Ordering And Parking Lot Pick-Ups Part 1

     Recently I am seeing more drive and pick-up parking spaces and I got to thinking about how it relates to clothing security and other theft protection efforts. It only seems to be recently that I saw the delivery parking places pop up in locations like WalMart, Target, and even a grocery store chain near where I live. In the store I work for we have been doing what are called Omni orders over the past year or so. All of these are designed to make a faster shopping experience for customers so they can make purchases online and pick them up without having to go into a store. Personally I see good and bad aspects to this strategy. One of my concerns involves the handling of Sensormatic tags and labels used to prevent shoplifting. 

     As I consider the process of Omni orders in our store I can see where there may be problems for other retailers. Our store does not sell any clothing we aren’t that type of retailer but having filled orders I am in a position to see the potential pitfalls for those stores that do sell clothing. When stores like the one I work at are using Sensormatic tags and labels on merchandise we are trying to prevent theft. We are deterring shoplifters and even employees who would try to steal when we put retail anti-theft devices on products. Crooks are well aware that tagged goods are going to set off those electronic article surveillance (EAS) towers we have at the front doors. Before we finish a transaction we have to use deactivation pads to detune EAS labels or we have to use a detachment tool to remove a hard tag or wrap. In those stores where I worked as a Loss Prevention Manager or Associate and softlines products were sold we had to remove the clothing security tags at the points of sale. If labels are not detuned it is a nuisance to customers as they walk out of a store. If a hard tag isn’t removed a whole new problem is created for the patron. Aside from the alarm it causes if no one responds the patron may simply leave. If the patron gets home and a tag is still on the merchandise the product can’t be worn and then you have to deal with a very angry customer when they come back. As a Loss Prevention Associate for a department store I would see this problem as shoppers would walk into our store from the mall. I remember being involved with a number of situations when a customer had a proper receipt from another store but that location failed to remove  clothing security tags. The shopper was embarrassed and after verifying the receipt and product matched I would escort the customer back to that store and seek assistance in having a tag removed.

      That brings me back to my concern with these new online orders being shipped from stores. The process for our company goes something like this. An alert pops on our mobile device. We are prompted on the items to pull and we go through the list picking the pieces. We then box the goods up for shipment and print the packing list and shipping label and ready it for delivery pick-up. We also have in-store pick-ups for online orders that are processed in a similar manner. When these orders involve hard tagged merchandise we have to ensure the tags are removed before they are shipped off or turned over to the customer. Now what happens when the store is one that sells shoes, shirts, jeans, dresses, etc. and protects items with clothing security tags? Having been involved in the shipping process I can see where it would be easy to overlook the critical step of removing anti-theft devices. Ship off an article of clothing with the security tag still attached and you are going to have one extremely agitated customer who can’t wear the product. This can create a horrible customer service fiasco.

     In Part 2 I want to talk a bit more about the advantages and disadvantages of the online shopping experience. I want to be clear that I am in total favor of the use of Sensormatic tags and efforts to stop theft. I am also in favor of owners finding new ways to increase sales and being open to finding new ways to reach additional customers. I only want retailers to be careful in their strategies and not follow a trend for the sake of a trend but to look for the potential pitfalls a strategy may carry.

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

Recently I am seeing more drive and pick-up parking spaces and I got to thinking about how it relates to clothing security and other theft protection efforts. It only seems to be recently that I saw the delivery parking places pop up in locations like WalMart, Target, and even a grocery store chain near where I live. In the store I work for we have been doing what are called Omni orders over the past year or so. All of these are designed to make a faster shopping experience for customers so they can make purchases online and pick them up without having to go into a store. Personally I see good and bad aspects to this strategy. One of my concerns involves the handling of Sensormatic tags and labels used to prevent shoplifting. 
     

As I consider the process of Omni orders in our store I can see where there may be problems for other retailers. Our store does not sell any clothing we aren’t that type of retailer but having filled orders I am in a position to see the potential pitfalls for those stores that do sell clothing. When stores like the one I work at are using Sensormatic tags and labels on merchandise we are trying to prevent theft. We are deterring shoplifters and even employees who would try to steal when we put retail anti-theft devices on products. Crooks are well aware that tagged goods are going to set off those electronic article surveillance (EAS) towers we have at the front doors. Before we finish a transaction we have to use deactivation pads to detune EAS labels or we have to use a detachment tool to remove a hard tag or wrap. In those stores where I worked as a Loss Prevention Manager or Associate and softlines products were sold we had to remove the clothing security tags at the points of sale. If labels are not detuned it is a nuisance to customers as they walk out of a store. If a hard tag isn’t removed a whole new problem is created for the patron. Aside from the alarm it causes if no one responds the patron may simply leave. If the patron gets home and a tag is still on the merchandise the product can’t be worn and then you have to deal with a very angry customer when they come back. As a Loss Prevention Associate for a department store I would see this problem as shoppers would walk into our store from the mall. I remember being involved with a number of situations when a customer had a proper receipt from another store but that location failed to remove  clothing security tags. The shopper was embarrassed and after verifying the receipt and product matched I would escort the customer back to that store and seek assistance in having a tag removed.
     

That brings me back to my concern with these new online orders being shipped from stores. The process for our company goes something like this. An alert pops on our mobile device. We are prompted on the items to pull and we go through the list picking the pieces. We then box the goods up for shipment and print the packing list and shipping label and ready it for delivery pick-up. We also have in-store pick-ups for online orders that are processed in a similar manner. When these orders involve hard tagged merchandise we have to ensure the tags are removed before they are shipped off or turned over to the customer. Now what happens when the store is one that sells shoes, shirts, jeans, dresses, etc. and protects items with clothing security tags? Having been involved in the shipping process I can see where it would be easy to overlook the critical step of removing anti-theft devices. Ship off an article of clothing with the security tag still attached and you are going to have one extremely agitated customer who can’t wear the product. This can create a horrible customer service fiasco.
     

In Part 2 I want to talk a bit more about the advantages and disadvantages of the online shopping experience. I want to be clear that I am in total favor of the use of Sensormatic tags and efforts to stop theft. I am also in favor of owners finding new ways to increase sales and being open to finding new ways to reach additional customers. I only want retailers to be careful in their strategies and not follow a trend for the sake of a trend but to look for the potential pitfalls a strategy may carry.

 

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

 

 

Curbing Shortage: Steps For Clothing Security And Merchandise Theft

How do you handle clothing security for your store? What I mean is this, what controls do you have in place to prevent theft? Who may be stealing in your store and where is it happening? If you are operating a store and selling any type of apparel you need to ask yourself these questions. Psssst…store owners who don’t sell clothing I recommend you don’t stop reading. You may not sell clothing but the information will be relevant to you too. The first thought that you probably have is this is an article on shoplifting. Yes and No. Shoplifters are a big concern for stores and more so for those stores that are not using any type of security tags on clothes. It is important that you don’t discount the chance that you have employees who may also be stealing from you. Retail anti-theft devices can deter theft at all levels and theft accounted for approximately 66.5% of retail shortage in 2017 according to the 2018 National Retail Security Survey (pg. 5). 
     

With 17 years of Retail Loss Prevention experience under my belt I will unequivocally tell you that if you are not using a retail security system in your store you are inviting theft into your building. Those stores that have a Sensormatic security system and use security tags on clothes (and nearly all other merchandise) are deterring criminals from stealing and sending them where? That’s right, to YOUR store. Criminals know what security systems look like when they walk into a store and they know what security tags and labels on clothing look like. Theft is always risky and the bad guys know that but they make every effort to avoid being detected and going to jail.  So, when they enter YOUR store because they ran into security equipment at the store just down the block you are inviting theft in. You aren’t without recourse you can join those who have installed a Sensormatic system and have added clothing security to their merchandise. If you have any questions about the purchase of a system and tags Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. can give you information you need to make a smart decision.
     

Getting back to the original question though, how do you handle clothing security? Bearing in mind that employees and customers will steal from you there must be steps in place to cover all of your bases. Here are some tips to help you control the opportunities for merchandise theft:

As we have already discussed retailers should be using security tags on clothes. I recommend Sensormatic hard tags to make forced removal of tags an almost impossible task without damaging garments.

Train employees on the importance of customer service. Teach them how it can help increase store sales and how it can deter theft. Note: Training employees on how to stop shoplifting through customer service is a skill and Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. does offer training seminars that will teach associates the best methods to identify it and stop it…SAFELY.

Have locked fitting room doors if you cannot afford a dedicated fitting room attendant. All items must be separated piece by piece to prevent items from being hidden between layers. Use number chips to track how many items a customer takes in and limit that amount to 6 pieces at a time. The rule must apply to employees who are shopping as well as customers.

Do not allow employees to ring up family or friends at the register.

Require employees (including all managers) to have purchases and bags checked before leaving at the end of the shift.

Conduct manager training on how they can prevent employee theft. Again, Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. does offer this in a training seminar as well as other training sessions.

Do not allow employees to keep personal belongings at a cash register or on the sales floor. Provide lockers or locking cabinets for the storage of personal effects while the associate is on the clock.

If it is in the budget consider a limited closed circuit television system to keep an eye on cash registers, front doors and even hard to see sales floor areas. 

Finally consult with Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. on a theft evaluation of your store and areas of vulnerability. They can also assist with a shortage action plan.

Clothing security is not hard it just requires having the right resources and knowledge of theft related issues. Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. has knowledgeable staff that can point you in the right direction to bring down shortage. Sensormatic has the right tools to protect your clothing (and other merchandise) to send crooks to the next retailer that has not put a security system in place.

 

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