You own clothing stores and are considering how to best protect your investment. You know that shoplifters and even employees are going to try to steal from you and you want to find the most effective clothing security protection available. As a former Loss Prevention associate and Assets Protection Manager with over 25 years of retail experience under my belt, I would like to share some of my thoughts on the subject. First, if you do not have an electronic article surveillance (EAS) system in place, invest in one. If you don’t know where to look for an EAS system, I would suggest Checkpoint Systems as a starting point. Next, you will want to purchase clothing security tags for your merchandise. 


Clothing security tags are clipped to the garments and require a special detachment tool to remove them. Without the proper tool, any attempt by a shoplifter or even a dishonest employee, to remove the tag will result in damaged clothing. A thief is not going to go to the trouble of stealing merchandise if it will result in damage since they want to either wear it or re-sell it. Also, devices such as Checkpoint tags are reusable meaning that when a purchase is made the device is removed and retained at the store.  They can then be applied to new product as it arrives. 


As you are deciding which security tags on clothes you will use that you consider Checkpoint tags for their source tagging program. Working with Checkpoint your merchandise can be shipped to your store(s) from the vendor already protected with clothing security tags. Why is this important? There are two reasons I really like this program. First, consistency in tagging benefits you at the point of sale. When the clothing comes to you tagged, the tags are placed in the same location on like merchandise. When it gets to the register, cashiers know where to find the tag every time. This speeds up the checkout process and minimizes the chance for a false alarm at the doors caused by cashier error. The second reason I believe source tagging is the smart choice is that you spend little payroll on tagging merchandise. I know how tight payroll budgets can be and if I had the choice to spend it on tagging merchandise or driving sales through excellent customer service, I would pick customer service. 


In addition to using clothing security tags on clothes for protection, I would recommend a camera system, partly for theft prevention and partially as a safety measure. A public view monitor at the entry way to a store and at the exit is good for making shoppers aware that they are on camera. The downside is cameras have become commonplace and do not have the deterrent value they once did in the retail world. You must be sure if you install a camera you have it positioned to in such a way as to capture face shots. Be aware that many criminals are on to this so they will enter the store with sunglasses on and hats pulled down to obscure their face. I also recommend cameras at the point of sale that can be used to record transactions. This can help to identify employees who may be stealing or criminals who are using fraudulent means to make purchases. Cameras on the sales floor may be usefull, but unless you have someone to monitor them and review video, they will not be extremely helpful in preventing shoplifting.


Finally, spend time training employees. Train on how to effectively provide outstanding customer service, and how it drives sales and reduces shortage. Also, spend time training on the importance of properly removing Checkpoint tags at the point of sales and response to EAS alarm activations. Training must be an ongoing process. If treated as a once and done, training loses its value because people tend to retain information better and practice it when it is reinforced.


Take a multi-pronged approach to protect merchandise. Use cameras, customer service, EAS and Checkpoint tags to defend against theft.  A smart investment will pay significant dividends in the future.


For more information on Clothing Security Tags contact us or call 1.770.426.0547