In my line of work, out of the box thinking is crucial to survival. Thieves are always developing new tactics and schemes to get over on my business and I have to stay one step ahead of them. This is true whether I am investigating a theft, or trying to take pro-active measures to stop the theft before it ever happens. Securing merchandise can be one of the biggest challenges for any retail store. Sure, if you lock everything up behind a glass counter, chances are you won’t lose any product from thieves, but what would that do to your sales? I worked for a company that carried a wide assortment of product, and the two highest loss areas were electronics and apparel.
We did our best with our apparel lines. We deployed clothing security devices to our commonly stolen shirts and pants and it would slow down the theft. Our problem was the electronics, and this one item in particular. It was a wireless bracelet that interfaced with a smartphone. It was new product on the market and we had a display set up that housed nearly 150 individual units. This display was not secured in any way, and using items like a spider wrap were just too costly. There was no plan from our buying office with this product and it, like most products in our store, were an open to sell concept. Meaning, to the LP guys, open season to steal.
It wasn’t long before the company began to feel the pinch of the shrink on these bracelets. Sales were really good, but we were losing them just as quick. One day, about 3 months after the units first hit the stores, a company wide inventory was conducted and it was determined that we had lost more units that what were sold. We were no longer profitable on this item. That’s not a good position to be in. If you’re not profitable on the items you sell, how do you expect to stay in business? We began to look for solutions, and what we ended up with was pretty resourceful.
In our main warehouse, we had hundreds of thousands of pencil tags. It’s a type of clothing security device that is easy to use, is pretty effective and most importantly, was inexpensive. I walked past the area these were stored in and began to tinker with an idea on how to use them on the bracelets. After some trial and error (and maybe even a few damaged bracelets), I was able to use the hard tag in a way that protected the merchandise from shoplifting. We simply slid the pin through the packaging, avoiding the bracelet altogether. Technically, it didn’t really secure the product, but it was a visible deterrent. It would surely make a thief think twice about taking one, or two.
We tagged all of the bracelets in this manner and we saw an immediate decrease on the number of units stolen per week. Best of all, we didn’t have to spend any additional budget dollars. While the units still come up stolen a few days a month, our simple solution of using a clothing security tag to secure a different type of item had allowed us to again be profitable on that sku.
For more information, contact us at Clothing Security, or call 1.770.426.0547