I remember the day when I learned of a new product we were going to use to prevent shoplifting, the Alpha Spider Wrap! Hmmm, being old school, I looked at this new device with not just a little skepticism. I quizzically considered this contraption of wires and thought to myself it was more like a spider web than a spider wrap, but I was willing to give it a chance. I had to wonder though, if I am skeptical, what are the shoplifters going to think when they see it? I don’t remember being too sold on the idea that the new Alpha Spider Wrap was going to strike fear in the heart of the criminal.
There was certainly a learning curve associated with the new device. We had to train associates on product placement and proper securing of the Alpha Spider Wrap. Boy did WE have growing pains. In the infancy of the program we struggled with how to store the wraps, I recall spending many hours, not just minutes, trying to untangle wraps that had been removed and tossed into boxes…”Oh what a tangled web we weave…” to paraphrase a popular writer. I was convinced someone in the corporate office hated Loss Prevention and was trying to sabotage us or more specifically, me. Then there was the auditing of wrap placement. Ah, the joys of auditing, because we ALL know there are never EVER opportunities for improvement presented as the result of an audit. I can look back now and chuckle, but at the time I cringed at those first audits. I found wraps so loose the product was nearly falling out when I picked it up. Many of the connecting pieces were not fully engaged. Some pieces were wrapped while other pieces of the same product sat on the shelf unprotected. How was this stuff ever going to prevent shoplifting? Needless to say, training and education were now added to my laundry list of Asset Protection duties.
Training of our dedicated merchandise protection team members was not the only training that had to be accomplished. I had to work with the front end supervisors to ensure the cashiers were aware of how to remove these ungainly devices and yes, how to NOT just toss them into a box while unwound, causing me to spend more hours unknotting the darn things. After all the training, our team members became overzealous and began wrapping some items TOO tightly, nothing like a squished router box to turn off a potential customer…more training, sigh!
After the initial growing pains, things did improve and yes, there is always ongoing training, but the results spoke for themselves. Merchandise protection using Alpha Spider Wrap did pay dividends. We found that the devices did prevent shoplifting and improved our store in-stocks on a number of items that previously had appeared regularly in high theft/high shortage departments. Vacuum cleaners, LCD televisions, and DVD players, items that previously were susceptible to buggy or cart rollouts had become more difficult for thieves to steal. Smaller items that could be removed from packages and concealed in purses or bags or pants (and not just in pockets, but that’s for another time) were now extremely difficult to get out of the store without sounding the alarm at the front exits. Tampering with the devices sounded a piercing alarm that panicked the perpetrator and usually resulted in recovered merchandise. Even if the wrap itself was damaged, the retail anti-theft device had performed its’ job and prevented a theft.
I found that I grew fond of my new friend, and I overcame my arachnophobia. That spindly creature, while not always easy to tame, was the source of a new fear for our local thieves. Our store not only continued to keep shortage in check with the addition of Alpha Spider Wrap in our anti-theft arsenal, we improved our shortage results.
For more information about Alpha Spider Wrap contact us or call 1.770.426.0547