As a retailer, you may not realize you can stop shoplifting simply by controlling your existing supply of Checkpoint Labels (an integral part of Electronic Article Surveillance). A clear weapon of choice could be something that is not brought into your store by the thieves themselves but rather something that you provide to them indirectly. One example of this that I’ve seen many times in the past is something that I’ve dubbed the ‘shoe sneak’.
To demonstrate the ‘shoe sneak’, imagine the following scenario.
It’s nearly closing time and your associates have already been servicing the last remaining customers towards the front of the store and into the checkout lanes. There are a few straggling customers remaining in the store and as anyone with closing experience knows, it’s sometimes difficult to get the customers to realize that the store is about to close.
Unnoticed, a single subject in the rear of the store has been watching a store associate for several minutes as she affixed Checkpoint Labels to the rear panels of fragrance boxes. As soon as the associate left the area to assist in ushering other customers towards the checkout lanes, the preying subject makes his move by approaching the now unmanned fragrance displays and takes possession of an entire roll of Checkpoint Labels.
Now you have a problem and no one even knows it yet. Your entire Electronic Article Surveillance program is in jeopardy.
By whatever means, the subject makes out of the store that night with the entire roll of labels. All it takes is a weakened policy with the way store associates can respond to Electronic Article Surveillance alarms by the front doors and it just about renders an entire EAS program fruitless. Now you have a lax policy about responding to EAS alarms and you’ve let an entire roll of labels exit the store. That particular thieve now knows he has a goldmine within your store.
So what would a shoplifter want with an entire roll of Checkpoint Labels? In order to stop shoplifting, you have to think like a shoplifter! The shoplifter that made off with the roll of labels knows now that he’s in control of them; he can use them each time he comes into the store to make his move. He thinks that your associates are lax, lazy and don’t really care about preventing loss.
The shoplifter returns to your store the following day. He’s armed with a label from your missing roll and a pair of wire cutters. Oh by the way, he’s also wearing steel toed work boots. The boots are his ultimate pass to waltzing right out the front door with hundreds of dollars’ worth of merchandise, per visit.
Before entering the store, he affixed a single label from the stolen roll, onto the bottom of his work boot. He does this with the intent of actually setting off the EAS alarm pedestal immediately when he enters the store. Coming through the front doors, he does just that. The alarm sounds and the associate working the register nearest to the door looks at him.
He responds “Steel toed boots!” knowing that the associate will accept the quick explanation and disregard the alarm. The thief just bought an excuse to exit the store in the same fashion, by setting off the EAS alarm without incident. He will be remembered in a few moments as the guy with the boots that set off the alarm.
From here the man goes to the rear of the store, towards the expensive high end hand bags to perform his magic. He quickly goes unnoticed snipping the cable tethers securing the hand bags to the rack, removes a few and folds them up, concealing them inside of his coat.
He makes his way towards the front, exiting the store. He sets off the EAS alarms again, gaining the attention of the same associate. She remembers him as having set off the alarm before and lets him pass without incident. The thief is home free with several hundred dollars’ worth of your merchandise.
The clever placement of the label on the bottom of his boot, coupled by the carelessness of securing the roll of labels the day before, multiplied by the forgiving and lax store associate is an equation of significant loss. On top of that, there is plenty of more loss in store from this same thief. Remember, he has a whole roll of labels and may use them at will.
If you’re serious and want to stop shoplifting, you have to think like a shoplifter. They will use any and all methods to steal from your store. Start by securing your labels!
For more information on how to stop shoplifting by securing your Checkpoint Labels, contact us at 1-770-426-0547.