If you’re like the majority of retailers out there, you have an EAS system in place to help combat theft. What I find a lot of times is that managers and store owners think that by simply installing the system, all their worldly problems will disappear. Granted, those towers at the front doors make for a great physical deterrent, but you still have to use the system and the corresponding Checkpoints Tags appropriately in order to have the most success. Even further, you should have a policy in place that guides managers and store personnel on how to appropriately react to EAS activations. A simple policy can go a long way at diffusing irate customers as well as protecting your store from any potential liability should a store associate react counter to that policy.
If you sell apparel of any type, you should understand just how important clothing security is. During any given day of the week, someone will try (or even get away with) stealing your merchandise. Whether they layer the product in the fitting room, or stuff it down their pants or inside their purse, you’re fighting a thief almost every day. If you are using your Checkpoint tags properly, you can curb this behavior and more importantly, your losses. So now you’ve got your most commonly stolen goods tagged and are ready to battle the thieves. Does your staff know what to do during and EAS activation?
99% of the time, the alarm will be activated due to a cashier failing to remove the EAS device at the point of sale. When we fail to remove the clothing security tags, we aren’t providing the best customer service to our shoppers. We (probably) embarrass them a little bit as they exit and it really inconveniences them when they are trying to leave. Making sure your staff responds appropriately to those EAS activations is crucial. You should always apologize to the customer and inform them that you simply missed a tag that needs to be removed. Most times, the customer will understand and even be appreciative if this is handled correctly (They probably wouldn’t want to get home to find a tag they can’t remove). What about those times where it’s not a legitimate customer?
One time while I was monitoring the registers early in the morning, I saw a young lady walking from the apparel department with nothing in her hands. As she exited the store, the EAS system activated. I was close to the front doors and reacted to the alert. As soon as the alarm stopped, she looked at me and immediately began apologizing. Since I was assuming that this was a faulty activation, I assured her it was nothing to apologize about and that she may have stepped on a tag that happened to be on the floor (something that happens pretty commonly at my store anyway). Before I can get another word out of my mouth, this individual started removing pair after pair… after pair of denim jeans from her purse. I then realized why she was sorry. Had it not been for the clothing security tags, I would have lost well over $500 that morning.
I think back to that incident and I use it frequently during management training classes as a way to properly respond to an EAS activation. At no point was the customer ever accused of shoplifting and the entire interaction, up to the point where stolen goods were produced, was very apologetic and non-confrontational. While not every case will be as simple and easy as this one was, it is however, a great text-book example of how react to an EAS activation. It’s also a great example of just how effective Checkpoint tags can be.
For more information about Clothing Security, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547