If someone asked you what you thought was the most commonly stolen item in the world was, what would you respond with? The newest smartphone, perhaps? Maybe razor blades, or baby formula? Those were some of my top answers until I recently read an article that said that worldwide, cheese was in fact the most commonly stolen item worldwide. When’s the last time you’ve seen an EAS label on a block of cheese?
Walk into any gourmet grocery store and you may find yourself realizing why cheese makes the top of the list. I am not a cheese whiz, but spend a few minutes in this section of your favorite grocery store and you’ll undoubtedly be met with some sticker shock! I was an LP manager for a higher end grocery chain for a few years and I can tell you that for the longest time, these products were not protected by any type of EAS label.
I can remember scratching my head on a weekly basis at the losses in this area. I was convinced that something was wrong with our inventory system that it kept showing hundreds of dollars in lost cheese every month. It was cheese! I didn’t think too much of this at first and so there they sat. $30, $40 and even $60 blocks of cheese just out in the open. The whole time, I was being targeted almost daily. Sure, a checkpoint label could have solved this problem, but at the time, I didn’t think I was dealing with a theft issue.
It wasn’t until I hired a new agent for the store. One of my more tenured agents had decided to move on and I ended up recruiting a new agent from a competitor across town. Within just a few days, he was already making a name for himself in the store. He was busting 3 or 4 people a day. What I noticed right away from his reports was that at least once or twice a week, he was stopping someone who had stolen cheese. I thought to myself that it was probably a good time to look into EAS labels then.
After a few more weeks and seeing even more shoplifters get busted for stealing my cheese, I decided to use some checkpoint label to cut down on the theft. Great thing about using these labels was they didn’t interfere with the product at all, they’re completely consumer safe and they are a great physical deterrent. Now, if you wanted to steal that wedge of cheese, you’d have to remove it from the packaging and then conceal it on you somewhere; something that most thieves don’t plan on doing, thus cutting down on the theft. The checkpoint labels were an eventual success, although my agent was disappointed since his cheese stats suffered!
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