Winter Solstice begins on December 21st and Spring Equinox begins on March 20th. No, don’t worry this is not a scientific article on seasonal change or the Earth’s rotation around the sun or anything of the sort. This is important to you if you own a retail business and especially if you sell clothing. If clothing security has not been a priority for your business in the past, I encourage you to continue reading this article. You may not be aware of it but according to the 2014-2015 Global Retail Theft Barometer report, “A majority of shrinkage occurs during winters due to high customer traffic/ football (due to festive season) which makes it difficult to track and prevent theft” (pg. 52 GRTB 2015). A few other facts from the report that all retail managers and store owners should take note of:
• Total shrinkage in North America stood at $36.79 billion
• Top Shrinkage retailers – Pharmacy/drug stores (2.25%), apparel specialists (1.98%), electronics/appliances/media retailers (1.90%). The majority of shrink caused by shoplifting and dishonest employees
• Dishonest employee theft caused approximately $16.56 billion in shrinkage
• Shoplifting caused approximately $13.24 billion in shrinkage
For this article I have one additional fact from the report that I want to focus on and this is specific to clothing retailers. According to the report, Apparel Specialist Retailers spent .30% on loss prevention as a percent to total sales. This should be a cause for concern if your store(s) sell apparel, have you been focused on clothing security? Is this an area where you have cut spending in order to save money? Perhaps it would be in your interest to ask yourself if cutting spending on security has caused an increase in shortage for your stores.
Clothing security can be in the form of Checkpoint tags and clothing alarms attached to merchandise. You may not be sure of the type of security device that best suits your need and Checkpoint can assist you with the best solution to fit your needs. It is important to remember that clothing security tags should be part of an electronic article surveillance system (EAS). Investing in tags alone without the EAS antennas at the entrance/exits to your stores will only deter a fraction of the theft that is taking place in your store. Checkpoint tags on clothes will set off the antenna alarm if someone attempts to exit the store with items in which tags are attached. Depending on the type of clothing security tags, there are some that will not only sound the antenna alarm but also have a built in alarm. These devices activate in the event someone attempts to walk out with a tagged item providing a double alarm protection.
For retail owners who don’t invest in clothing security tags because they are concerned about it detracting from the appearance of their products, there are solutions available to address this problem. Checkpoint tags can be designed to be a part of a label and sewn into clothing at the source. These tags may incorporate a scannable UPC code that is undetectable to the shopper or the potential shoplifter. There are also teams that can assist in designing clothing security tags using a variety of materials and brand them with your business logo. These tags still incorporate EAS technology giving you the same protection as traditional clothing security tags.
So now you may be wondering, why is winter such a contributing factor to the increase in theft, especially clothing theft? Several things are pointed out in the Global Retail Theft Barometer Report, one factor being that people wear heavier clothing including jackets. It is much easier to conceal merchandise in and under these items. Even wearing clothing out of a store is easier. Other factors included, “shoppers’ pressure to buy, seasonal hiring and crowded and chaotic stores” (pg. 52 GRTB 2015). I will address some of these factors in future articles.
Inventory time will be approaching soon and as store shortage results post reflect on how much you spent on clothing security. Did you cut spending this year to save money? Did you spend on security at all? I recommend you take time to review the 2015 Global Retail Theft Barometer Report and then consider if investing in Checkpoint tags and other clothing alarms could save you money in the long run.
For more information on clothing security tags, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547