Of all seasons, I really look forward to the spring time. Not only can we feel our fingers and toes finally, it’s the time of year where everyone gets outside and starts being active again. The snow is melted, the plants and flowers are in bloom and baseball season is getting under way. I love baseball. Probably more than any other sport I’ve ever played. I even coached little league for a few years… back when I had the spare time. For kids, there’s nothing like going down to their local sporting goods store and getting your very own set of equipment. Now that I’m in charge of protecting the product at that store, I want to make sure those kids get what they need, and aren’t shorted by a thief.
Currently I’m an LP manager for a regional sporting goods retailer. About two years ago, around the start of baseball season I began receiving reports from several stores that they were short on thousands of dollars’ worth of baseball bats. I began reviewing the shipping manifests and delivery dates and all corresponding CCTV and was certain the product had arrived at the store. I knew I had a thief, but how was someone stealing bats? They are quite difficult to steal and pretty obvious to just walk out with.
Through the course of our investigation, we were able to identify a ring of shoplifters that were targeting our high end bats. These items were prominently displayed and had no sort of security measure applied to prevent theft. We never had this problem before so we had not invested in any protective merchandising. These thieves were taking advantage of that and we were losing thousands of dollars in product as well as missed sales. Eventually, we discovered how the items were leaving the store. The shoplifters were taking the label from very inexpensive bats, and placing them on the higher end product. The cashiers were not catching the switch and they were paying next to nothing for the product.
We searched for something that could protect the merchandise, identify it as a high value to the cashier, while still keeping the bat merchandised in an open fashion. We came across the O-Tag by Checkpoint. Within a few days, we had these deployed in our stores. So we just sat back and waited. Sort of like a baited mouse trap. It didn’t take long for one of these boosters to take the bait.
I just happened to be in one of my stores when I got called to a register. I never get called to a register, so I figured either something broke, or someone had stolen some cash. When I got to the front of the store, I saw one of the bat bandits standing at the register, along with a supervisor. I asked what I could do to help and the supervisor explained that the bat had rang up for $7.99. She said that during their meeting this morning, the managers talked about the new O-Tags and how they wouldn’t be on any product less than $200.
Due to just a little training and a very simple tool, I was able to close out a case relatively quickly on some folks who were stealing a lot of money from me. That was 4 years ago. To this day, we don’t put our high end bats on display without an O-Tag. Since our use of these tags, we have not had the significant losses like we did before their use.
For more information contact us at losspreventionsystems.com or call 1.770.426.0547