I never realized just how much alcohol was shoplifted until I worked for a short time in a grocery store. It seemed like every day, a few times a day, my LP team was making an alcohol related shoplifting stop. Even working in a big box retailer that had all the latest liquor bottle security measures, people still found a way to steal booze. It was incredible, and incredibly frustrating. I had one shoplifter that was a pain in my side for weeks.
Every bottle of top shelf liquor was secured with Bottle Loks, but that only slowed the thieves down. I’ve seen shoplifters break the glass bottle necks, bring in pliers, use blow torches…. Anything to remove the lock. One night, I received a frantic sounding call from a cashier who said someone had just stolen from her register. Thinking it was a cash robbery, I ran to the front and called every manager in the building. Once up there, we learned that an individual had stolen a few bottles of vodka.
His scheme was pretty straight forward. He would bring the two bottles of vodka to the cash register, where the cashier would scan the product, then remove the Bottle Lok. Once the security device was removed, he would grab the two bottles from the counter and run out the door. Thinking this was just a onetime event, we chalked it up to a loss and went on about our daily business. This guy hit us 10 more times in the next week. I was disgusted and fed up with him, as well as the cashiers. We had in fact posted pictures of him in the break room, talked about the method, but our cashiers still were an area of vulnerability.
Having seen enough loss, I made the choice to take away the Bottle Lok keys from the line cashier registers. If someone purchased some top shelf product, they had to walk over to the service desk, once it was purchased, in order for it to be removed. It wasn’t a burden, as the service desk was near the exit and it only took a second. After we implemented this, our same shoplifter came back to the store. When the cashier scanned the product, she totaled his transaction. He asked her to remove the Bottle Loks, and when she told him he had to pay first, then go to the service desk, he ran out of the store, never to be seen again. Eventually, we went back to the detachers at every register, but mandated that the cashier accepts payment first. Since then, we haven’t had any problems from this particular theft scheme.
For more information, contact us: Bottle Lock, or call 1.770.426.0547