While attending the University of New Mexico, working toward a degree in criminology, I worked part-time in loss prevention at a local retail store. I had seen many people walk through the security system pedestals in my store sounding an alarm with their Checkpoint labels and looking about in a nervously awkward fashion, not sure whether to stay and seek an employee out, or to simply continue on their way. Sometimes I would find it mildly humorous.
That changed when one day, I had to buy textbooks from the school bookstore. As I was exiting the store after paying for my books, the alarm sounded. Even though I had seen this scenario occur probably hundreds of times, I still got that knot in my stomach like I had done something wrong. Everyone was looking at me as security approached me and asked to see inside my book-bag. I was rushed to get to class, but I complied, showing all of the pockets in my bag, and showing the books I had just paid for. After a good once-over, the security guard gave me the ‘OK’, and allowed me to proceed on my way. I had my first memorable “uh-oh” moment with Checkpoint labels.
These security labels are miniscule stickers designed to emit a certain radio frequency that, when active, sets off an alarm at the security pedestals that are placed at a store’s entrance. The great thing about these stickers is that they are completely flush with the merchandise—in my case, books. When they are scanned by deactivators at the point of sale, they will no longer emit the radio-frequency that will set off the alarm, thus allowing paying customers no issues—usually. They can be both a great deterrent against theft, and a great indicator that theft is occurring and allow the store staff to prevent it. However, they do require minimal training and persistence to prevent those “uh-oh” moments that can be embarrassing for paying customers.
One of the best time-tested ways of gaining compliance is through socialization. For example, people tend not to do things that will make them stand out in a socially awkward way, like not wearing pants to work, cutting in line, or even speaking in front of a large group of people. It is a social norm that stealing is not acceptable and neither shoplifters nor shoppers want to be suspected of it. That is what makes Checkpoint Security Labels such an effective method of deterring theft. Even those who aren’t shoplifting don’t want to beep at the door!
In retail it’s important that shoppers have a great experience shopping in your store. It is very important to be consistent with label placement, deactivation, and alarms response. When an alarm sounds, the customer should not be accused of theft. It’s best to apologize for the alarm and to offer assistance. Usually, this consists of checking the customer’s receipt and taking the item back to the register for deactivation or purchase, if the item is not found on the receipt. If the alarm sounds again on the way out, the issue should be investigated after the customer leaves.
Even if the customer paid for the merchandise, alarm follow-up is important! Remember, the Checkpoint security system is a deterrent. Shoplifters are watching how your employees respond to alarms. If they can set off the alarm without having customer service after, they might steal. Checkpoint Security Labels are most effective if implemented with a consistent plan.
For more information contact us: Checkpoint labels or call 1.770.426.0547