I don’t think I will ever completely remove my Assets Protection hat, no matter how long I am out of the field. Any time I am in a store I find I am looking to see if I can spot a shoplifter, or I am evaluating security measures or retail theft prevention strategies. I bring this up because just the other day I was in a grocery store picking up a few things as I waited for my son to get off of work. As I was walking by the meat department I noticed another shopper walk by me with his own shopping cart and he had a single large piece of meat in his cart. The gentleman also had on a rather heavy jacket for the type of day we were experiencing. The temperature required no more than a medium weight jacket. The alarm bells in my head went off and I couldn’t resist following this gentleman.  This customer walked a little further and turned down the dish detergent aisle. I walked up behind him as he was adjusting his jacket and I could see that the shopping cart was empty. It was clear that my fellow shopper was not shopping for dish detergent and had not put the meat anywhere but under his clothing. Now, I do know my limitations and I am not one to take a risk for a store I do not work for, but I do confess I can have a sarcastic wit when I want to. As this ‘customer’ started to walk away I loudly asked him if the meat was cold. He turned and looked at me, obviously startled and sped up his pace. I made several more comments about the meat under his coat and reminded him as he went through the checkout lanes that he should not forget to pay for the hidden meat. I will admit I was somewhat disappointed at my inability to shame him into dropping the stolen merchandise. The thing that caught my attention most was the failure of the electronic article surveillance antennas to alarm as the guy left the store. I was puzzled that there appeared to be a security system in place to stop shoplifting but it did not work, at least in this instance.


This incident made me wonder if the store uses Checkpoint labels for their meat products. The Checkpoint EP 4210 food label is compatible with all Checkpoint electronic article surveillance systems so if protected merchandise goes through an electronic article surveillance antenna it will activate the alarm and alert personnel of an attempted theft. These particular Checkpoint labels are able to be placed on meat packaging and can even be placed under the meat soaker pad inside the packaging. The labels are food safe so there is no concern about whether they will damage food product or not. 


After we got home, I asked my son about the store alarm system at the door and if he knew whether the store uses Checkpoint labels on the meat. He was not sure about what was or was not tagged but he did mention he could not recall the alarm ever sounding. In his position I am certain he is not familiar with all the security systems of his store, but it disturbed me that he could not recall the alarm ever sounding. The purpose of an electronic article system is to stop shoplifting from happening. Thieves pay attention to whether a store’s system is operational and they also watch to see how personnel respond to alarms. If a store is not keeping their system turned on, testing the systems daily or training personnel on proper alarm response, the electronic article surveillance system becomes useless. 


Theft from retailers hurts not only the business, but customers as well. We all pay more for merchandise and groceries because of pilferage. Stop shoplifting from taking place in your store by installing an electronic article surveillance system and using Checkpoint labels on your products. 


For more information on Checkpoint labels contact us or call 1.770.426.0547