Prevent Shoplifting With Careful Product Placement And Security

Alpha Security-5                                                                                                                          WC blog 489
prevent shoplifting-4
Retail Anti-Theft Devices-5


Prevent Shoplifting With Careful Product Placement And Security

    It may sound like an odd question but have you ever considered that it can be difficult to prevent shoplifting if you are not being careful in your merchandising strategies? I currently work part time for a medium size retail store. We recently had a pretty big sale and in order to drive the impulse buys a display table was set up near the front entrance. Our store does use an electronic article surveillance system and Alpha Security retail anti-theft devices on many items but not on everything. As I entered the building after being off for several days and I observed the table I noted that there were a number of items displayed that had no protective devices on them. It made me start to think about the ways retailers may unintentionally create their own theft problems.

     As I mentioned our store does use electronic article surveillance pedestals and Alpha Security retail anti-theft devices. Not everyone is familiar with this equipment so I am going to take a minute to talk about what they are and how they function. Electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology is best described as a system that uses radio frequency waves to detect protected merchandise that is being carried out of a store. An Alpha Security protective device such as a Keeper box or Spider Wrap (two examples from a whole line of products) send out radio frequency signals and those signals are detected by EAS towers. The towers are located near store entry/exit points and when tagged merchandise is brought into range of the towers alarms and lights in the towers are set off. When the alarm sounds and the lights flash store staff members respond and conduct thorough receipt checks. Merchandise that is not paid for can be turned over to the staff member or the “customer” may be offered an opportunity to purchase the item.

     It should be obvious then that if merchandise is not protected then you significantly hinder your ability to prevent shoplifting. That is the first ways that stores create their own theft problems. Some stores may make the decision because management is not aware of retail anti-theft devices that are available. It may be the decision is made because management perceives Alpha Security products and EAS technology is financially out of reach for their budgets. If this is your position, I urge you to reconsider. Loss Prevention Systems Inc. can show you how it is more affordable than you may think (try the Free ROI Calculator on their website).

     Other stores do what I saw at my store and position merchandise especially high price/high theft products near their entrances. The idea is to catch the eye of the impulse shopper but it also catches the attention of shoplifters. Thought should be given to the positioning of products. If you want to draw the interest of customers as they enter your building keep the price points of the items on the lower end of the price scale. These items should still be protected with retail anti-theft devices but in the event a criminal attempts a grab and run the financial impact to the business will be minimized.

     Another way that retailers may be contributing to theft issues they are experiencing is by failing to train employees on proper response, resolution and reporting of EAS alarms. With proper training employees can use their customer service skills and non-accusatory conversation to recover more merchandise due to an alarm than someone who has not received training. Even shoplifters tend to respond better to sugar than vinegar. Following up with management and reporting system issues or cashier errors to remove Alpha Security products can ensure the EAS system will prevent shoplifting as intended.

     Be sure you are taking all the necessary steps to prevent shoplifting in your store. Be careful with product placement, train employees on how to deter theft and use retail anti-theft devices on all of your merchandise.
Alpha Security is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.

It may sound like an odd question but have you ever considered that it can be difficult to prevent shoplifting if you are not being careful in your merchandising strategies? I currently work part time for a medium size retail store. We recently had a pretty big sale and in order to drive the impulse buys a display table was set up near the front entrance. Our store does use an electronic article surveillance system and Alpha Security retail anti-theft devices on many items but not on everything. As I entered the building after being off for several days and I observed the table I noted that there were a number of items displayed that had no protective devices on them. It made me start to think about the ways retailers may unintentionally create their own theft problems.
     

As I mentioned our store does use electronic article surveillance pedestals and Alpha Security retail anti-theft devices. Not everyone is familiar with this equipment so I am going to take a minute to talk about what they are and how they function. Electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology is best described as a system that uses radio frequency waves to detect protected merchandise that is being carried out of a store. An Alpha Security protective device such as a Keeper box or Spider Wrap (two examples from a whole line of products) send out radio frequency signals and those signals are detected by EAS towers. The towers are located near store entry/exit points and when tagged merchandise is brought into range of the towers alarms and lights in the towers are set off. When the alarm sounds and the lights flash store staff members respond and conduct thorough receipt checks. Merchandise that is not paid for can be turned over to the staff member or the “customer” may be offered an opportunity to purchase the item.
     

It should be obvious then that if merchandise is not protected then you significantly hinder your ability to prevent shoplifting. That is the first ways that stores create their own theft problems. Some stores may make the decision because management is not aware of retail anti-theft devices that are available. It may be the decision is made because management perceives Alpha Security products and EAS technology is financially out of reach for their budgets. If this is your position, I urge you to reconsider. Loss Prevention Systems Inc. can show you how it is more affordable than you may think (try the Free ROI Calculator on their website).
     

Other stores do what I saw at my store and position merchandise especially high price/high theft products near their entrances. The idea is to catch the eye of the impulse shopper but it also catches the attention of shoplifters. Thought should be given to the positioning of products. If you want to draw the interest of customers as they enter your building keep the price points of the items on the lower end of the price scale. These items should still be protected with retail anti-theft devices but in the event a criminal attempts a grab and run the financial impact to the business will be minimized.
     

Another way that retailers may be contributing to theft issues they are experiencing is by failing to train employees on proper response, resolution and reporting of EAS alarms. With proper training employees can use their customer service skills and non-accusatory conversation to recover more merchandise due to an alarm than someone who has not received training. Even shoplifters tend to respond better to sugar than vinegar. Following up with management and reporting system issues or cashier errors to remove Alpha Security products can ensure the EAS system will prevent shoplifting as intended.
     

Be sure you are taking all the necessary steps to prevent shoplifting in your store. Be careful with product placement, train employees on how to deter theft and use retail anti-theft devices on all of your merchandise.

 

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

 

Is A Resume Good Enough To Show An Employer How Your Knowledge Of Alpha Keepers Translates To Inventory Control When Trying To Change Careers?

Prevent Shoplifting-4                                                                                                             WC Blog 432
Alpha Keepers-4

Is A Resume Good Enough To Show An Employer How Your Knowledge Of Alpha Keepers Translates To Inventory Control When Trying To Change Careers?

   I was conversing with a co-worker the other day about resumes versus C.V.’s (curriculum vitae). The discussion was in reference to providing information on ourselves for a new boss in our academic library. I was suggesting I would update my resume, my co-worker was saying he was going to update his C.V. I was only familiar with a C.V. for academic positions and did not think it was applicable to our positions as staff members. My friend then made a strong point. To someone with no knowledge of retail or Loss Prevention, would my former position as a Retail Loss Prevention Manager mean anything to an academic Dean? A C.V. would offer more of a description of what my work entailed than identifying me as someone who investigated employee theft or worked to prevent shoplifting. A resume is a brief history of work experience, education and background. A C.V. has more detail in it. For the purpose of informing my new Dean of what my skill sets really are does he/she need to know about my knowledge of Alpha Keepers or does he/she need to know about my knowledge of inventory control and the impact it has on library resources such as books, music, videos, etc.?

     It is appropriate at this point to discuss Alpha Keepers and inventory control for those who may not be familiar with them and how they work together. Alpha Keepers are clear, solid boxes with a hinged, locking lid. The Keepers come in a variety of sizes to accommodate a wide selection of items, from batteries to baby formula cans. There are sizes that are sure to please almost every retailer. From an inventory control perspective Keepers provide flexibility in terms of how much “lock-up” merchandise a store manager has to keep in a locking display case. The reason for this is that Keepers are basically portable lock-up display cases. They can’t be opened without a special detachment key usually secured at the point of sale. Tampering with the lid activates a tamper alarm allowing employees to prevent shoplifting of the contents. The boxes also have electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology built in that allows the box itself to be detected by EAS towers. Thieves trying to smuggle merchandise in Alpha Keepers out of a store are in for a surprise when the tower sounds a screeching alarm that alerts employees to the attempted shoplifting. When Keepers are used there is less need for display cases and manpower to supervise and unlock them. Inventory control is less burdensome on the store owner.

     Getting back to the resume vs. C.V. comparison, is there a significant difference when I am attempting to highlight my experience or translate how my experience works from one job to the other? Is it important for someone to be able to make such clarifications? For example, when I interviewed for my position to work in a library, I was able to explain how my retail customer service experience would be useful in assisting library patrons. I was also able to translate my experience as a Loss Prevention Manager responsible for emergency preparedness and planning would be beneficial to crisis response in an academic library. My role as Loss Prevention Manager required me to be responsible for the security of merchandise, prevent shoplifting and look out for the safety of patrons and the shoplifter when conducting apprehensions. One of the library job requirements when I first applied was being able to keep patrons safe during late night hours. I was already prepared before my interview to explain how my experience was similar to what the job ad was seeking. Had I gone into the interview with only my resume I would probably not be working where I am. A C.V. can do sort of the same thing, show someone who may not have the experience how much you can contribute. 

     I tell you this because many of you store managers and owners may interview people who only present you with a resume. It might be beneficial if you are able to translate skills listed in one occupation to the job you are trying to fill. As you prepare to interview candidates ask questions so they can tell you how they are prepared to do the job you need done. Can that library staffer really be useful to your store? They can, as much as that Loss Prevention Manager can exchange knowledge of how to prevent shoplifting to preventing the theft of library materials.  Managers do yourself a favor and review those resumes carefully, you might be missing a gem of a hire if you are too focused on key words and not skill sets.
 For more information about how to prevent shoplifting contact us or call 1.866.914.2567.

     

I was conversing with a co-worker the other day about resumes versus C.V.’s (curriculum vitae). The discussion was in reference to providing information on ourselves for a new boss in our academic library. I was suggesting I would update my resume, my co-worker was saying he was going to update his C.V. I was only familiar with a C.V. for academic positions and did not think it was applicable to our positions as staff members. My friend then made a strong point. To someone with no knowledge of retail or Loss Prevention, would my former position as a Retail Loss Prevention Manager mean anything to an academic Dean? A C.V. would offer more of a description of what my work entailed than identifying me as someone who investigated employee theft or worked to prevent shoplifting. A resume is a brief history of work experience, education and background. A C.V. has more detail in it. For the purpose of informing my new Dean of what my skill sets really are does he/she need to know about my knowledge of Alpha Keepers or does he/she need to know about my knowledge of inventory control and the impact it has on library resources such as books, music, videos, etc.?
     

It is appropriate at this point to discuss Alpha Keepers and inventory control for those who may not be familiar with them and how they work together. Alpha Keepers are clear, solid boxes with a hinged, locking lid. The Keepers come in a variety of sizes to accommodate a wide selection of items, from batteries to baby formula cans. There are sizes that are sure to please almost every retailer. From an inventory control perspective Keepers provide flexibility in terms of how much “lock-up” merchandise a store manager has to keep in a locking display case. The reason for this is that Keepers are basically portable lock-up display cases. They can’t be opened without a special detachment key usually secured at the point of sale. Tampering with the lid activates a tamper alarm allowing employees to prevent shoplifting of the contents. The boxes also have electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology built in that allows the box itself to be detected by EAS towers. Thieves trying to smuggle merchandise in Alpha Keepers out of a store are in for a surprise when the tower sounds a screeching alarm that alerts employees to the attempted shoplifting. When Keepers are used there is less need for display cases and manpower to supervise and unlock them. Inventory control is less burdensome on the store owner.
     

Getting back to the resume vs. C.V. comparison, is there a significant difference when I am attempting to highlight my experience or translate how my experience works from one job to the other? Is it important for someone to be able to make such clarifications? For example, when I interviewed for my position to work in a library, I was able to explain how my retail customer service experience would be useful in assisting library patrons. I was also able to translate my experience as a Loss Prevention Manager responsible for emergency preparedness and planning would be beneficial to crisis response in an academic library. My role as Loss Prevention Manager required me to be responsible for the security of merchandise, prevent shoplifting and look out for the safety of patrons and the shoplifter when conducting apprehensions. One of the library job requirements when I first applied was being able to keep patrons safe during late night hours. I was already prepared before my interview to explain how my experience was similar to what the job ad was seeking. Had I gone into the interview with only my resume I would probably not be working where I am. A C.V. can do sort of the same thing, show someone who may not have the experience how much you can contribute. 
     

I tell you this because many of you store managers and owners may interview people who only present you with a resume. It might be beneficial if you are able to translate skills listed in one occupation to the job you are trying to fill. As you prepare to interview candidates ask questions so they can tell you how they are prepared to do the job you need done. Can that library staffer really be useful to your store? They can, as much as that Loss Prevention Manager can exchange knowledge of how to prevent shoplifting to preventing the theft of library materials.  Managers do yourself a favor and review those resumes carefully, you might be missing a gem of a hire if you are too focused on key words and not skill sets. 

 

For more information about how to prevent shoplifting contact us or call 1.866.914.2567.
     

 

Secure Merchandise With Alpha 3 Alarm Devices

Alpha 3 Alarm -4                                                                                                                        WC Blog 439
retail anti-theft devices-4
prevent shoplifting-3


Secure Merchandise With Alpha 3 Alarm Devices

      How secure is your store from theft? Not just from shoplifters but also from dishonest employees? I’m always concerned with merchandise protection to prevent shoplifting by using retail anti-theft devices such as Alpha 3 Alarm devices. But I am also thinking of shortage caused by dishonest employees who have access to supposedly secure areas of a store. As a Loss Prevention Manager I would visit other stores in my company from time to time. I would go to fill in helping with an inventory or assist with a suspected investigation and I would be told how that store had strong internal theft controls. They would show me how keys were signed out and in. They made sure doors were never propped open. Office areas would never have unsecured purses or bags. Often I would find compactors unlocked (a potential internal theft concern). Prepping a secure electronics cage for inventory and I would find hidden packages or retail anti-theft devices. I would find a purse in a file drawer in someone’s unlocked desk. This was not the case in every trip I would make there were visits when controls appeared to be good. Unfortunately there were management teams that did not believe their staff would steal and wouldn’t take the time to thoroughly audit their own stores.

     I do think it would be beneficial to mention what Alpha 3 Alarm retail anti-theft devices are since there may be some reading that are not familiar with them. The devices are electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags that come in a number of forms from wraps to hard tags that pin on clothes. Each carries built in technology that sends out a radio wave that will activate an EAS tower alarm when it is carried in the vicinity of a tower. These devices also have tamper alarms that screech when a shoplifter attempts to pry the unit off a product. Finally, if a shoplifter gets out the doors past EAS towers, the third alarm (an internal alarm in the tag) activates and goes where the shoplifter goes. As a tool to prevent shoplifting the Alpha 3 Alarm series of devices are top notch.

     So what is my point in discussing retail anti-theft devices that are designed to prevent shoplifting when I am writing about internal security controls? Anti-theft tags aren’t for stopping shoplifting alone. There are dishonest employees who will try to walk out of a building with stolen merchandise and the tags will alarm on them the same as they do on a shoplifter. What your store personnel can do that shoplifters can’t do is get access to ‘secure’ areas giving them more places to commit their crimes. It is often in the locations that I would find empty packages or discarded EAS devices. I am not being critical only of the stores where I went for support. I had my share of internal theft cases, some more difficult than others to close and a few I did not successfully close before my suspect quit. For example, I had an employee once who would leave her purse in an unlocked desk drawer in an employee’s only area. Despite our policies against this and my warnings to her she persisted in the activity and one day claimed someone had stolen $20 from her purse. I had no cameras in the area and could never validate her claim. Nor did I have much sympathy since I had warned her on multiple occasions against this. 

     I also had an electronics lock-up which required a key to get into and I once found EAS tags we placed on CD’s hidden behind merchandise. At that time I had a single camera in the room. I never resolved the case despite doing live surveillances and video reviews. On the other hand I was very strict in our store about key control and made a point to address any violations of key control or door security to my store manager. Fortunately I had a store manager that respected my efforts and was as fanatical about stock shortage as I was. Over 13 years as L.P. Manager I had shortage under 1% 11 of those years. In large part that was due to ensuring secure areas were secure, monitoring activity in those areas and getting managers to understand the importance of security.

     It was difficult to visit other stores and have the same influence on those managers. Hopefully as you read this article you see how crucial it is to keep tight security from showcases to stockrooms. Lock your doors and secure merchandise with Alpha 3 Alarm devices, you’ll see profits soar!
For more information about Alpha 3 Alarm contact us or call 1.866.914.2567

 

How secure is your store from theft? Not just from shoplifters but also from dishonest employees? I’m always concerned with merchandise protection to prevent shoplifting by using retail anti-theft devices such as Alpha 3 Alarm devices. But I am also thinking of shortage caused by dishonest employees who have access to supposedly secure areas of a store. As a Loss Prevention Manager I would visit other stores in my company from time to time. I would go to fill in helping with an inventory or assist with a suspected investigation and I would be told how that store had strong internal theft controls. They would show me how keys were signed out and in. They made sure doors were never propped open. Office areas would never have unsecured purses or bags. Often I would find compactors unlocked (a potential internal theft concern). Prepping a secure electronics cage for inventory and I would find hidden packages or retail anti-theft devices. I would find a purse in a file drawer in someone’s unlocked desk. This was not the case in every trip I would make there were visits when controls appeared to be good. Unfortunately there were management teams that did not believe their staff would steal and wouldn’t take the time to thoroughly audit their own stores.
     

I do think it would be beneficial to mention what Alpha 3 Alarm retail anti-theft devices are since there may be some reading that are not familiar with them. The devices are electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags that come in a number of forms from wraps to hard tags that pin on clothes. Each carries built in technology that sends out a radio wave that will activate an EAS tower alarm when it is carried in the vicinity of a tower. These devices also have tamper alarms that screech when a shoplifter attempts to pry the unit off a product. Finally, if a shoplifter gets out the doors past EAS towers, the third alarm (an internal alarm in the tag) activates and goes where the shoplifter goes. As a tool to prevent shoplifting the Alpha 3 Alarm series of devices are top notch.
     

So what is my point in discussing retail anti-theft devices that are designed to prevent shoplifting when I am writing about internal security controls? Anti-theft tags aren’t for stopping shoplifting alone. There are dishonest employees who will try to walk out of a building with stolen merchandise and the tags will alarm on them the same as they do on a shoplifter. What your store personnel can do that shoplifters can’t do is get access to ‘secure’ areas giving them more places to commit their crimes. It is often in the locations that I would find empty packages or discarded EAS devices. I am not being critical only of the stores where I went for support. I had my share of internal theft cases, some more difficult than others to close and a few I did not successfully close before my suspect quit. For example, I had an employee once who would leave her purse in an unlocked desk drawer in an employee’s only area. Despite our policies against this and my warnings to her she persisted in the activity and one day claimed someone had stolen $20 from her purse. I had no cameras in the area and could never validate her claim. Nor did I have much sympathy since I had warned her on multiple occasions against this. 
     

I also had an electronics lock-up which required a key to get into and I once found EAS tags we placed on CD’s hidden behind merchandise. At that time I had a single camera in the room. I never resolved the case despite doing live surveillances and video reviews. On the other hand I was very strict in our store about key control and made a point to address any violations of key control or door security to my store manager. Fortunately I had a store manager that respected my efforts and was as fanatical about stock shortage as I was. Over 13 years as L.P. Manager I had shortage under 1% 11 of those years. In large part that was due to ensuring secure areas were secure, monitoring activity in those areas and getting managers to understand the importance of security.
     

It was difficult to visit other stores and have the same influence on those managers. Hopefully as you read this article you see how crucial it is to keep tight security from showcases to stockrooms. Lock your doors and secure merchandise with Alpha 3 Alarm devices, you’ll see profits soar!

 

For more information about Alpha 3 Alarm contact us or call 1.866.914.2567