I have been spending quite a bit of time reading through the 2014-2015 Global Retail Theft Barometer (GRTB). One of the findings that I found interesting was that, “… within respective categories, items such as footwear, mobile device accessories, wines and spirits, and fragrances were some of the most stolen items.” Within the “Food and Beverages” division wines and spirits ranked as the top most stolen items. (2014-2015 GRTB pg. 55). If you are a business owner with stores selling wines and/or spirits, you can take steps to protect your merchandise by using bottle security devices. In this article, I would like to review some of the causes for wine and spirit theft and how shrinkage in this category can be dramatically reduced.
Generally there are four causes for retail shortage, employee theft, shoplifting, vendor shortage and administrative and non-crime loss. According to the GRTB, supermarkets and grocery retailers in North America reported that 20% of their shortage was due to vendor/supplier fraud and administrative and non-crime losses. This left 50% of shrinkage being due to employee theft and 31% is reported as shoplifting (pg. 54). If 80-81% of a grocery retailer’s losses are due to theft and the top category is wine and spirits, then it is reasonable to assume that protection of this line of products will add profit to your bottom line. Bottle security is as easy as securing wines and spirits with bottle locks. These devices come in a number of different styles, from locks that fit around the collar of a bottle, to those that secure over the entire cap. Alpha security bottle locks are available with radio frequency (rf) or acoustic magnetic (am) alarms to work with electronic article surveillance antennas.
The bottle locks work because they fit over the cap or around the collar of the bottle and prevent someone from tampering with the cap and opening the bottle. If someone were to steal the bottle and successfully exit the store with it, once they were to attempt to open it, there is a strong probability they will break the bottle. Bottle security is enhanced because the bottle locks provide a visual deterrent to theft. Shoplifters will tend to shy away from merchandise that is clearly protected against theft. For the most part, shoplifters are after items that will not pose a great risk to steal. At this point you may be asking how much of your merchandise would you have to protect to reduce shrink caused by shoplifting. That is entirely up to you. The more merchandise you protect, the more you are likely adding to your profit margin. A key point to remember is that most Alpha Security devices are reusable. The devices are removed at the point of sale and ready to be placed on new product as you fill your shelves.
Employee theft is the second part of the equation in reducing wine and spirit shrink. As mentioned in the first part of this article, employee theft accounts for 50% of shrink in grocery stores/supermarkets. Access to merchandise and more places in a store to hide dishonest activity makes this threat more difficult to impact. Using bottle locks on all of your wine and alcohol products, including the merchandise in your stockroom will reduce the chances an employee will bother trying to conceal a bottle and leave the store. It is imperative that there are tight controls on your detacher keys to ensure a dishonest employee cannot unlock bottles outside of store guidelines and bypass your security measures.
Grocery stores may be hampered by high shrinkage as a result of employee theft and shoplifting, but the use of Alpha Security products can help cut those losses. Since wine and spirits are the top shortage area of grocery stores, implementing bottle security measures will help improve store profitability.
For more information on bottle locks, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547