Why in the world would a non-clothing retailer ever want to use Sensormatic clothing security tags, it doesn’t make sense…or does it? What kind of stores can and should use these tags? On the surface it seems that only clothing retail stores should. But some stores that are not necessarily considered clothing stores sell articles of clothing. For example I have walked into car part stores and have noticed that they sell baseball caps. I have been in a college bookstore that sells more than books. They sell all types of apparel from athletic shorts to college logo button down style shirts. Clothing theft happens wherever garments are sold.
Perhaps you are of the mindset that none of this matters because your store only sells bedding and bathroom accessories. You never ever sell clothing of any sort. You might have a point except that shoplifters will steal bedding and bath merchandise just as quickly as they would steal a pair of shoes. The good news for you is that Sensormatic clothing security tags are versatile enough to be used on all sorts of products made of material. I worked as a Loss Prevention Officer for a big box retailer and we protected high dollar comforters with Sensormatic tags. I have also seen them used on more expensive brands of sheet sets and bath towels.
Then there are the stores that sell groceries. Ahhh, I know you think you are immune to clothing theft so you don’t need to worry about using Sensormatic tags on clothes. Now wait a minute before you stop reading. Let me ask you a question. Do you have a Sensormatic security system in place already? Are you using food-safe Sensormatic labels to protect meats? If you already have an electronic article surveillance system in place, why are you limiting what you are using it for? Why not carry some gift t-shirts or ballcaps to increase sales? Do you carry aprons for your customers? We live near a beach and a lot of grocery stores sell t-shirts with the area’s name on it for souvenirs. They also sell beach towels, baseball hats and visors to drive sales. You could do the same but you should also protect them with anti-theft tags.
There is a well-known computer/electronics store I like to shop at. They carry computers, video gaming systems, stereo systems, smart phones, etc. Guess what else they sell? You got it they sell licensed clothing and backpacks. Now this particular store does have merchandise protection systems in place but I cannot tell you if they use Sensormatic tags on clothing or not. If they don’t they should. As with the grocery store, the system is in place why not maximize it to the fullest?
Clothing security tags are not solely for clothing merchandise retailers. They have multiple uses on a wide range of products. I have used them on golfing gloves and baseball mitts. I have seen them used on curtains and sofa covers. I have also seen them pinned through blister packages in hardware departments. From drill bits to power screw drivers the tags are sturdy enough to pierce tough plastic deterring crooks from trying to shoplift even these items.
If you have a Sensormatic security system but you are only tagging those products you believe your store specializes in like a grocery store tagging meats only you are missing the boat. There are labels and tags available for all kinds of things you may carry and have not thought about. If you don’t have an electronic article surveillance system you are missing out on an opportunity to decrease shortage and improve sales. Sensormatic systems are more affordable than you might realize. I recommend you get one installed now and learn how many items you really CAN protect in your store.
Need information on Sensormatic tags? Give us a call at 1.770.426.0547 now.
From retail businesses that are trying to stop shoplifting to restaurants advertising for new employees there are some really odd communications and sometimes too much signage in retail. I get a charge out of stores that post signs outside a restroom saying “No Merchandise Beyond This Point”. I look down and expect to see an “X” or a red line I can’t cross. There are signs on entrance doors that say “No Concealed Weapons Allowed”. Now I am not going into the gun debate that is not what this is about. What tickles me is if it is concealed, who is going to see it to tell the customer that they can’t have it? A fast food restaurant near where I live posted on their electronic billboard, “Expanding Staff”. Now c’mon folks, you have to admit that is probably not the best choice of words for trying to hire for a fast food restaurant. Words mean things but they may mean less when they are not communicated well and can even cause confusion. I remember asking one of my Loss Prevention Associates to put electronic article surveillance (EAS labels) on boxes of medicine without further clarifying what I wanted. The Associate did what I asked and later when I happened to look at what he tagged for me the labels were covering up warning labels! This was a big deal and I learned from then on to be clear when I gave directions to my staff members.
There was another instance when I was trying to stop shoplifting and I was following a suspect out of the store. A communication blunder occurred when I asked a member of my team to wait outside as I was getting ready to exit so I would have someone ready to assist. I stopped the suspect and got into a bit of a tussle and the shoplifter ran to her car and got away. As she drove off my assistant came up and I asked where he had gone? He said I told him to wait outside so he went to the far end of the building and waited! I did not think I had to be so specific but clearly I was mistaken…we had a serious discussion when we returned to the office.
Sometimes we can also experience information overload that detracts from our ability to communicate clearly. A good example of this is seen when we walk into a store and the doors are plastered with signage. Have you ever noticed doors plastered with signs that will include sales, store hours, warnings that shirts and shoes must be worn, this store under closed circuit television surveillance and EAS systems in use (they may even mention the specific company such as Sensormatic). Too many signs renders all of the signs ineffective in what they are intended to do. In order to better communicate with customers and improve efforts to reduce shortage I recommend that a door have hours of operation and signage that lets customers know EAS labels are in use. Other signs with holiday specials, holiday hours or sales events can be displayed immediately upon entering the store. Hint: if your store uses Sensormatic equipment some front door towers can be set up to display store signage and still sound the alarm if someone attempts to shoplift.
Although they are not signs stores can impede efforts to stop shoplifting by overusing closed circuit television camera monitors on the salesfloor. I know of a chain store that has a LOT of monitors throughout the store in various aisles. The monitor has a little flashing light and words in red that let you know they are recording. The idea is to dissuade thieves from stealing but there are so many of these monitors that people become immune to and no longer care about them, shoplifters included.
Just as overused signs and equipment can cause information overload and become ineffective, overused and careless placement of EAS labels can be ineffective too. Placing Sensormatic tags and labels on everything including candy and snacks or slapping labels on carelessly can also degrade the impact they have on shoplifters. Avoid misplacement and improper use of Sensormatic labels and tags contact Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. for training that will help reduce shoplifting and improve shortage results.
Need information on EAS labels? Give us a call at 1.770.426.0547 now.
I just watched a recorded webinar about opioid use in libraries and as I often do I found it applicable to retail businesses and the use of Sensormatic labels. Having been a Retail Loss Prevention Manager I have dealt with shoplifters and criminals who have been high on drugs. Drug use and the impact it has on society is an unfortunate problem overall but it is a real concern for retailers. I have been able to stop shoplifting by those who were high on crack cocaine, marijuana and I have even caught suspected methamphetamine users. The webinar I watched on the topic referenced how the users of these drugs become addicted and need more of the substances to maintain the same level of high. The speaker referenced how many of these addicts will resort to theft to feed the addiction and that can include car break-ins, house break-ins, robbery and shoplifting. He also spoke about libraries being a place these addicts will go to in order to shoot up, using the restrooms as a secluded location for their activity.
Clearly retailers have to be aware that if libraries are chosen because addicts feel they can blend in with the public and be out of the view of police, then stores can be chosen for the same reason. One concern noted in the webinar is the dropped needles and paraphernalia from the drug user. Some of the ingredients are potentially dangerous if they just touch the skin, such as fentanyl. The problem is potentially worse for retailers due to the fact that the addict may try to steal while they are in the store. Now you have the dangers associated with the abuser’s needles and such plus the increased chance of shoplifting. The use of Sensormatic labels to protect merchandise becomes that much more important.
Aside from the problem of how to stop shoplifting and the drug use in your store you also have to be careful about what is happening outside your store. Is the exterior of your building inviting to the drug user? I have driven around the back of some stores and they are stacked with clutter, old fixtures, broken pallets and dumpsters. They are not well lit and they are inviting to people who don’t want to be seen. This can be the dealing of drugs, the use of drugs or even waiting for someone to pass by so they can rob them. Dark parking lots with lights that are burned out are also an invitation to criminals who are looking to break into vehicles. Add to all of this panhandlers who are not banned from store property because store owners feel badly for them. I’m not trying to be harsh, I feel sympathy for those who are struggling but as a Loss Prevention Manager I also saw the discomfort and concern when shoppers trying to come in or leave my store were approached by strangers. Often it was clear that a panhandler was an addict looking for some quick money.
Drug abusers may also pose a physical danger to your employees and customers. As the speaker on the webinar was talking about the problems of the drugs, he also pointed out how they affect the users. In some instances they are lethargic and when using opioids with fentanyl they can go into a fentanyl coma. He mentioned that it is when these abusers are shaken out of their comas, as is the case when Narcam is used, they can become violent and irrational. I can also say from first-hand experience that some drug abusers on crack or methamphetamine can be violent and will fight when confronted.
So where do Sensormatic labels and systems fit into all of this? The narcotics abuser and even an alcoholic who is financially strapped but has an addiction to feed will often turn to shoplifting. They certainly do not want to be caught because that is going to impede their ability to get the next fix. That results in one of two things they risk stealing from a store where electronic article surveillance is used to stop shoplifting, significantly increasing the chance of being caught. Two, they go to stores where electronic article surveillance is not used and they face minimal risk of being caught.
Don’t allow your store to be an inviting location for thieves and especially drug addicts. Make your products less appealing and harder to steal by setting up a Sensormatic security system and placing Sensormatic labels on all of your merchandise. You will make your building safer and reduce shortage at the same time.
Need information on how to stop shoplifting? Give us a call at 1.770.426.0547 now.
I remember my time as a Loss Prevention Manager when I had to go through log sheets to decipher electronic article surveillance alarm events. What a headache that could be. Employees were supposed to write down dates, times and what set off the alarm towers. For example, if a security label had not been properly deactivated and the alarm sounded the responding employee was supposed to write that information down for Loss Prevention. My job was to see if there was a training problem, an equipment failure a label issue or perhaps even a recovery from a shoplifter. We all know that despite our best efforts rarely does anything happen exactly the way we want it to happen. In this case alarm testing wasn’t always recorded, alarm activity was not always noted or alarms were not notated properly. It was difficult to get actionable data from the information collected when it was inconsistent. When I would make a fuss about it to the front end manager he/she would address the situation. The employees would get back on the program briefly and the logs would be useful again for a period of time. It was an important part of my job to know when Sensormatic labels were setting off the alarm towers and when. When done correctly I could review corresponding video to see who caused the alarm and if the responder thoroughly tried to resolve the problem. This was useful for training and efforts to stop shoplifting.
A lot has improved in Retail Loss Prevention since my days as a Loss Prevention Manager. Electronic article surveillance towers have become more advanced, Sensormatic labels have gotten much smaller and hard tags and wraps are continually evolving. In fact the use of Sesnormatic systems has expanded far beyond the reduction of theft they now are used to drive sales. Adding a customer counting device to a pedestal can enable a retail owner to understand shopper traffic patterns. That knowledge can be used to adjust work schedules to better serve clients. It can also help determine if a new product or display is having an impact on sales. Some pedestals have the ability to have signage added to them. Advertising as we all know can directly drive customer shopping habits and it is free marketing space. With all of these advances the necessity of paper record keeping has also become obsolete. Logs can still be used but they don’t have to be, electronic article surveillance has come that far in recent years.
Now retail owners have the ability to use Sensormatic’s Shrink Management as a Service cloud based electronic article surveillance management system. This system enables retail managers to see reporting that includes retail traffic, electronic article surveillance alarm activity by date, and the alarm rate. Other information that can aid in controlling shortage is metal foil detection, jammer detections and potential dollar losses due to theft. By reviewing this data you can see the potential theft activity that is taking place and take steps to prevent it. Think about it if alarms are trending to be more frequent on a given day of the week according to reporting managers can position a “greeter” at the front doors. This person can be right at the doors ready to respond to pedestal alarms. The presence of this employee will also be a deterrent to someone who enters with the intention of trying to shoplift and changes their mind when they see a greeter. Couple the reports with a Sensormatic Synergy camera and owners/managers can capture pictures and video of alarm events and the suspects causing those alarms. And one other thing to keep in mind about your greeter they may be a deterrent to theft but the right person can also be an ambassador for your store. They can provide directions, store information and greet customers which gives a personal touch shoppers desire.
Sensormatic labels and systems have made incredible progress over the years. The effectiveness in deterring and preventing crime has improved as the equipment has evolved. The multi-functionality of these systems has made them even more attractive to shop owners. Managing the systems through cloud based services makes sure reporting is accurate and easy to access. When you think about it there is nothing to lose by investing in a Sensormatic system so my question to you is, why aren’t you picking up your phone to get your own system now?
Get more information on electronic article surveillance, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 today.
When I was a Loss Prevention Officer I hated trying to stop shoplifting when it involved small merchandise. If it could fit in the pocket of a shoplifter it was a risky decision to make if I chose to stop the crook. Small merchandise like cosmetics, bottles of medicine, batteries and even hand tools or accessories could be easily concealed in a pocket and just as easily removed from a pocket. Whether I was watching someone on closed circuit television cameras or doing a live floor observation I found it could be a pain in the neck to keep a close eye on the suspect’s hands. What compounded the problem was there was often no method of protecting these little objects from shoplifters. Sensormatic understands that these small products could present a big problem for retailers. There are now Sensormatic labels created specifically to address this concern.
Sensormatic ultra-slim EAS (electronic article surveillance) acousto-magnetic labels are small enough to fit on most of the merchandise that shoplifters tend to pocket. This is especially true for cosmetics some of which can be as slim as a pencil. When I was actively involved in Loss Prevention we did not have any tags or labels that could be used to stop shoplifting in our cosmetics department. We were forced to depend on closed circuit television and public view monitors as well as customer service to deter thieves in this area. That was just in our cosmetics department and did not include the other departments where merchandise was small enough to pocket but hard to protect as I mentioned earlier.
Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. (LPSI) recognizes the problem pocketable merchandise poses and the difficulty in finding adequate anti-theft devices for those items. When they learned that Sensormatic labels came in the ultra-slim size they made it a point to ensure sure their clients were made aware of it. They know the risks a Loss Prevention Officer or even a Store Manager takes when they try to stop someone they suspect of shoplifting small merchandise. Even if concealment is observed the items are so small that a suspect can discretely dump the item without being seen. Stop that person and they don’t have merchandise on their person and you open a HUGE can of worms. In fact the risk of making a bad stop on small merchandise is so great that when I was a Loss Prevention Manager our Regional Loss Prevention Manager directed that apprehensions could not be made if the suspected theft only involved cosmetics. Bad stops had become a regular issue and it was determined that the losses were not worth the time in court and the expenses involved in settling those bad cases. I should make one clarification, if a suspect was grabbing and pocketing a large quantity of cosmetics we were permitted to stop shoplifting in those situations.
While we are talking about preventing the theft of any small item I am focusing on cosmetics for two reasons. First, I have had my own share of close calls when it comes to nearly making a bad stop when I suspected someone had stolen cosmetics. Fortunately I usually thought better of it or I found dropped merchandise when I briefly lost sight of the suspect. Second, according to the 2014-2015 Global Retail Theft Barometer within health and beauty departments makeup products ranked second in most stolen items (fragrances came in first) (pg. 55).
There is no reason to rack up losses in small merchandise any longer. Sensormatic labels can take care of a big chunk of the theft you may be experiencing. I am not minimizing the importance of customer service in deterring criminals from shoplifting but your employees can’t be everywhere at once. Sensormatic ultra-slim EAS labels will give you the advantage you need to make an impulse shoplifter think twice before pocketing that beauty product. Don’t let little things continue to be a big problem let LPSI help you with a Sensormatic system and labels.
For more information on Sensormatic labels, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547