Every three months or so my company’s Loss Prevention department hosts a networking seminar with retailers in the area, along with our local, county, state and federal law enforcement partners with the aim of identifying and reducing shoplifting and organized retail crime. We’ve done this for the past 5 years and it has paid huge dividends. Historically, we’ve invited the large retailers that also have nation-wide operations. Retailers with strong LP departments that have the tools and resources to stop shoplifting. Over the past year or so, a new trend has started to emerge through, as thieves in this area are more and more aware that the big business are sharing information and taking a much, much harder stance on shoplifting. That trend is that thieves are now targeting smaller stores that don’t have the resources that the bigger companies do.
Just last month, we hosted one of these meetings and I met a manager for a small, family owned hardware store. He stated that he had been victimized by shoplifters constantly and the sheriff’s office recommend he come to one of these meetings. We talked for a bit and I asked him what type of EAS (electronic article surveillance) system he had in place. He had no idea what I was referring to. I bet that there are quite of few of you out there right now reading this who are in the same boat. You’re tired of shoplifters stealing from your store, but you don’t know where to start. If you are going to stop shoplifting, it has to start with electronic article surveillance.
Walk into any major retailer. As soon as you enter the doors, stop. Look to your left and right. See those towers? That’s the most visible part of their EAS system. Those towers work in concert with special tags that are applied to high value/high theft items throughout the store. Whether it be on an expensive personal electronic device, or a pair of denim jeans, these tags are made to affix easily to these products to deter and prevent theft. They are easily removed and/or deactivated at the point of purchase by a store team member. If a tag is still attached to an item and that item passes through those towers, an audible and visual alert will sound in order to alert your store team that a tag is passing through. While it can often be a mistake on the cashier’s part, it can also be a very clear indicator that someone is stealing your store’s merchandise.
While an EAS system alone will not stop shoplifting completely, it should be one of the first steps you take in order to control external losses in your store. Shoplifters are like water, whereas they will always follow the path of least resistance. If the item they want is secured at your store, chances are, they will go down the road and steal from the store where they very same item isn’t secured.
For more information, contact us: Stop Shoplifting, or call 1.770.426.0547