In the small retail pharmacy business, the front end sales do not come close to the pharmacy contribution. Our company has to draw customers to choose our pharmacy to dispense their prescriptions, but the front end has to have the right product mix as well. We carry OTC medications and health/beauty aids, and other miscellaneous merchandise, but every other retailer has all of that too. One category we have added in the past few years is beer and wine. One new product protection tool we have found a need to incorporate is the Bottle Lock.
We have not needed to add them in all of our stores, but there has been a clear need in a few locations. Some of our stores are in areas that deal with high crime and poverty, with a lot of foot traffic, so there was a sudden spike in run-out thefts once we added alcohol. That was mainly in the wine section. Bottle Locks became a saving grace in that section to put a stop to those rampant thefts.
We only carry beer in reach in coolers, and the section is generally still only two or four doors. We are certainly not a big competitor in the local beer business; the point is to have it for convenience and impulse. The powers that be have decided to change our selection of products in these coolers. In the past we have carried only packaged items, in six, twelve and eighteen count bottles or cans. Now we are in the single serve business, carrying the giant cans and those big forty ounce bottles. I am usually pretty “yippy skippy” about new items, but this makes me ill at ease. I just feel like the draw of a huge cold beer can turn into the difference in whether a store has to deal with beer and wine theft.
My husband used to work in a convenience store and those bottles were like his arch enemies. They were stolen by local troublesome customers that had substance abuse issues. They were also very regularly stolen by teenagers. A group of teens tended see these bottles as “sharing size” and they would come in and steal them several times a week. Some would attempt to distract the clerk, and others would simply conceal them and walk right out the door.
Bottle Locks will secure the bottles shut until they are removed by the clerk. They will alarm if a customer attempts to remove them, and if there is a successful theft, I know they won’t get to partake in that bottle. The glass neck would most likely break, rendering the bottle dangerous and the beer inside undrinkable.
We will be looking into adding Bottle Locks to these as soon as they are stocked by the vendors. I want to have products on my shelves that are appealing to my customer base. There is nothing wrong with purchasing a cold single serve beer to take home and enjoy after a long hot day of work. But I want those to be bought by my honest cash paying customers, and not easily pilfered by those that would not pay for them.
For more information contact us at Bottle Lok or call 1.770.426.0547