As I was preparing to write this article, I spent some time reviewing the 2014-2015 Global Retail Theft Report. The report lists “North America Most Stolen Items – by vertical” in a chart. Items that show up are footwear, i-pads, laptop computers, wine and spirits, meat, and building supplies including lumber, but I was interested in something else. I wanted to know roughly how many categories were potentially items that stores would display on peg hooks. If there were enough peg hook merchandise categories, then I had to wonder if this could be an overlooked shortage problem that retailers should be addressing. Interestingly, of 25 most stolen items listed, as few as five and possibly as many as eight categories could include peg hook items. These include fashion accessories, batteries, screws and washers, mobile device accessories and razor blades. In some cases, I could include smaller power tools, small electric toothbrushes, and make-up products. Looking at these numbers the thought occurred to me that the Auto Peg Tag could help make a significant impact to stop shoplifting of these items.


Obviously, peg hook merchandise comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, but for the most part, they tend to be relatively small. This makes them prime targets for shoplifters. They are difficult to detect when someone is carrying them and they are easy to conceal in a pocket, purse or even a backpack. They can also be difficult to protect with soft EAS tags because they may cover up important product information. The Auto Peg Tag is a hard plastic, single piece design that goes over the packaging peg hole. It comes in a bright white or yellow color that makes it and the merchandise easy to see. A “security protected” warning and lock icon are printed on the tags to help deter and stop shoplifting by would-be thieves. The tags are radio frequency sensitive so they work with all Checkpoint electronic article surveillance antennas. One cost savings consideration is that the Auto Peg Tag is reusable so when removed at the point of sales, they are recycled and used on new products.


Having almost 25 years of combined retail experience, I know that many of these peg hook items mentioned are targeted not only by the opportunistic shoplifter, they are also the products desired by professional boosters. Razor blades, cosmetics, electric toothbrushes and batteries frequently turn up for sale at flea markets and warehouses.These Locations are where criminals resell the items they have stolen or where they store them for later sale. The 2014-2015 Global Retail Theft Report confirms this on page 53, “Shoplifting continues to plague the retail industry due to escalating problem of ORC (Organized Retail Theft), easy sale of stolen merchandise through online sites, reduced sales floor coverage and the general perception of shoplifting as a “low risk/non-offensive” crime.


It is important to find ways to stop shoplifting while not hindering the shopping habits of good customers. Locking display cases and locking peg hooks may sound like the best method to curb theft, but they keep honest customers from getting access to merchandise and this can be extremely irritating to your shoppers. These measures may stop shoplifting for the most part but they also require employees to be immediately available to unlock a fixture. Any time customers have to wait for service, such as finding help to unlock a case, there is a good chance they will abandon a purchase. Not losing a sale in order to not lose merchandise is no way to do business. The Auto Peg Tag allows a store to display merchandise so it is accessible to customers and protected against theft with electronic article surveillance technology.


My father used to tell me “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, in the case of peg hook merchandise my advice is DO sweat the small stuff. The loss of little items can cost you big bucks. Use Auto Peg Tags and an electronic article surveillance system to stop shoplifting in your store.


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