I was browsing the web a few nights ago and came across an article titled, “S.A.Q”. I had no idea what it meant, so I read a bit. The acronym stands for Should Ask Questions. Questions that should be asked, but are seldom brought up. I thought, this would be a great way to tackle some of the challenges small retailers face in regards to product protection strategies. Smaller companies don’t have a large LP department that can test new products and do cost/benefit analyses on security devices. They are focused on running their businesses, while trying to balance ways to limit shrink. So I’ve put together 5 questions that retailers should ask about Checkpoint Labels, but don’t.
1. What can I use checkpoint labels to secure?
Usually this is posed as, “I have a problem with item x, how can I fix the problem and stop shoplifting?” When looking at EAS labels, you really have an endless amount of possibilities to contend with. If you are a grocer, labels can be applied to high theft items like steak and cheese, but can also see use on thousands of other products that you may be having shrink issues with. For other stores, they can be applied to apparel, footwear and virtually any hardline item.
2. How do I apply checkpoint labels to my product?
I wish more retailers would ask this question. I see, very often, a lack of understanding when it comes to security device. Whether they be a simple EAS label, or other more advanced systems, I find that often we are not thinking like a thief. Take for instance, a digital camera. Where would you apply the tag? If you said “on the box”, you’re wrong. If the box can simply be opened, you’ve defeated the purpose of the label altogether. If the thief’s end game is the product, they don’t really care about the box. A little common sense thinking can make your dollar go much further. So when you are applying your labels in the store, make sure to tag the physical product whenever possible and practical.
3. Can the checkpoint label be defeated?
I won’t lie to you. They can be defeated. If you simply tag the box and not the product, then a thief can take advantage of that. I’ve had shoplifters take a knife and cut away the part of the packaging that had the EAS label attached to it. You have to be smart about placement as previously stated. You won’t stop every thief, especially a determined one, but you can minimize those hundreds of opportunistic thieves that will take advantage of a situation should one present itself.
4. What is source tagging?
If you have a great relationship (or you buy a lot) from your manufacturer, you can most likely have them source tag certain products. What that means is that the product will come from the source with an EAS label or tag already attached. This means that you don’t have to spend the payroll cost to do it yourself.
5. Will these tags actually make a difference?
Nothing in life is a guarantee, right? I can tell you that if you use the labels properly and use them as a layer in your product protection strategy, they will absolutely make a difference. We tested whether EAS made a difference a few years back. At one store, we took all physical security measures out for 2 months. After comparing shrink in that time span to historical data for the store and to its sister stores, it was clear that tagging does make a difference. I can guarantee that those executives will never ask that question again.
For more information about Checkpoint Labels, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547