Tag Archives: EAS

Checkpoint Systems’ EVOLVE-Store app provides retailers with real-time Electronic Article Surveillance

Checkpoint Systems, a leading global supplier of merchandise availability solutions for the retail sector, has announced the launch of EVOLVE-Store, a real-time app for smart phones and tablets that supports real-time electronic article surveillance (EAS) and organised retail crime event management.

The app was developed in response to retail customer requests for an easy means of ensuring that store associates leverage EAS investments appropriately, comply with store shoplifting policies and have EAS systems always turned on and operating in the correct manner.

Features in the EVOLVE-Store app enable retailers to measure and improve consumer conversion rates through real-time visibility of the number of shoppers in stores. The app also measures policy compliance by managing response times to alarm events.

By monitoring, measuring and managing an EAS program, retailers can deter opportunistic shoplifters and organised retail crime activity, reducing shrink and increasing shelf availability, sales and profits. In turn, this improves staff confidence and engagement with the EAS program, ensuring a significant improvement on the return on investment.

Additional features include a staff panic alert to request help from colleagues, an EAS night-save feature to save power when the store is closed, the ability to test, mute or disable EAS systems remotely and multi-user logins for each smart device. 

Beyond retailer advantages, shoppers benefit because stores can monitor inventory more closely and replenish ‘true’ out-of-stocks, so merchandise they seek will likely be available on shelves when purchasing online through click and collector buying directly in stores.

Moreover, studies have shown that shoppers feel safer in monitored retail environments.

“Technology should make life easier for both consumers and retailers,” said Uwe Sydon, senior vice-president of innovation at Checkpoint Systems. “EVOLVE-Store accomplishes this with simple implementation and proven loss prevention and merchandise availability benefits that offer advantages to everyone.”

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Chelsea FC signs Rembrandt security solution from Intrepid at start of 2015-2016 Premier League campaign

Over the summer, Chelsea FC has been busy with pre-season preparations at its Stamford Bridge retail Megastore in readiness for the start of the new Premier League season. Closed since the end of May, the Megastore has undergone its first major refurbishment since the official opening over a decade ago.

The new, larger Megastore, which opened on Monday 3 August, features lots of innovations designed to improve the visitor experience. Store security and marketing tools have also been upgraded to improve efficiency for the Megastore’s management team.

Intrepid Security was tasked to replace the existing Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tagging system (which the company originally installed five years ago) with its latest RF system. Designated Rembrandt, this helps to update the look of the security to match the new store interior, in addition to providing the benefits of the latest tagging technology and reliability.

The Chelsea Megastore at the Premier League club's Stamford Bridge ground in West London

The Chelsea Megastore at the Premier League club’s Stamford Bridge ground in West London

The Rembrandt systems are sited at three points in the store: one at the entrance and one at each of the two exits (one of which is only open on match days to cope with the 10,000-plus fans who pass through the doors).

Intrepid has also added five thermal overhead people counters within the store, in turn allowing the Megastore’s management to monitor traffic flow on each of the two floors, as well as between floors, on the two staircases. This should enable the team to improve staffing levels as well as merchandising, and generally give a much better level of service to their customers by fully understanding the routes through the store.

Paul Newbury, who has overseen the project for Intrepid Security, told Risk UK: “The new Rembrandt tagging system is technically superior to anything else available for the price point and is working a treat. By working closely with the retail team at Chelsea FC, we made sure they received the people counter coverage they require. By monitoring the people traffic by counter location, members of the team will be able to identify customer ‘hotspots’ and generally busier areas within the store so that they can then maximise future merchandising opportunities.”

The club already has already gained valuable merchandising data following the first home game of the season against Swansea City which they will build on through the coming months to expand sales and merchandise even smarter.

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How can retailers avoid false alarms this Christmas?

During the festive season it’s vital that retailers protect themselves against increasing cases of theft while ensuring their customer base has an enjoyable shopping experience without the inconvenience of false alarms. Brian Sims offers some top tips to ensure it’s only the Sleigh Bells that are ringing this Christmas.

Shopper traffic in the UK increases by nearly 100% between the first Saturday in November and the last couple of days before Christmas. In the same period, retailers are expected to lose an estimated £1 billion as a result of shoplifting, dishonest employees and vendor or distribution losses.

False security alarms are not only frustrating and embarrassing for consumers, but also waste valuable employee time. For retailers to protect consumers and employees from possible inconvenience, every alarm must be treated as if it’s for real. Here are some handy tips to guard against false alarms and help ensure a positive shopper experience:

Test your Electronic Article Surveillance antennas
Store employees should first ensure all antennas and security equipment are working correctly. These tests should ideally be carried out each day before the store opens.

Check your deactivation systems
One of the most frequent causes of deactivation failures for retailers often occurs because the unit isn’t plugged in correctly, or because it has been unplugged accidentally. Store employees need to make sure that all deactivation systems are plugged in and functioning as they should.

Modern deactivation systems are designed to integrate seamlessly into Point of Sale procedures, ensuring the effortless deactivation of security tags when plugged in and fully operational.

Deactivate at Point of Sale
A major cause of false alarms is tags that haven’t been correctly removed from the merchandise at the Point of Sale. Hard tags and labels need to be correctly deactivated and/or removed at the Point of Sale to avoid causing the consumer an inconvenience or delay on leaving the store.

Today’s deactivation products are designed to easily integrate at the Point of Sale, with newer solutions now offering increasingly improved detection capabilities and range. This ensures a rapid checkout for your customer and worry-free deactivation every time – no matter what the size or position of the Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) label used.

False alarms can present a huge headache for retailers

False alarms can present a huge headache for retailers

Watch out for tag pollution
Tag pollution from other stores does happen. This occurs when non-deactivated tags from other retail outlets are carried out of store by consumers, in turn causing unwanted alarms. As a result, these alarms decrease the effectiveness and integrity of installed EAS systems.

Ensure your employees are correctly trained on tag pollution as per your Head Office policies.

Be aware of metallic articles
Tagged and/or metallic articles found in the vicinity of the EAS system, such as holiday decorations and displays, can cause interference. Taking more time to consider the layout and positioning of certain types of merchandise can also reduce the frequency of false alarms.

Ensure tag applications are correct
An EAS label or hard tag not applied in the right place could pose problems for retailers during deactivation. For example, EAS labels should be positioned close to the barcode so employees don’t need to scan the merchandise twice.

By ensuring all products are universally tagged and the position of security labels is uniform, retailers can then enjoy reduced false alarms.

In addition, by streamlining product tagging (or tagging products at the point of manufacture, ie source tagging) and integrating deactivation at the checkout or when a scanner is used at the Point of Sale, retailers may prevent false alarms and keep merchandise protected without placing a significant burden on store employees.

Provide training
The effectiveness of any EAS system is largely based on how colleagues interface with it. Training for new staff and refresher sessions with existing members of the team will help keep false alarms to a minimum.

Keep a log of alarms
Keeping a log of all alarm activations will help to trace false alarms and identify whether they’re being caused by staff members or a system error.

By reducing false alarms and ensuring that EAS systems can effectively prevent theft, retailers can keep products on their shelves during the holiday season and ensure customer satisfaction and reputation is safeguarded.

Fraudsters rely on festive cheer to fleece employers

As the festive season moves into full swing, KPMG’s Priya Giuliani has warned that ‘the threat from within’ is the ghost of Christmas present.

Giuliani argues that, with many businesses in a relaxed mood, employees intent on committing fraud will try to take advantage of opportunities where the usual ‘safety checks’ are relaxed, and either attempt to remove stock or simply get away with misappropriating assets.

A partner in KPMG’s Forensic Risk Consulting practice, Giuliani explained: “Money can be tight at this time of year with higher than usual spending leading to additional pressures on employees. Combine this with a time of year when targets and bonuses are assessed and it’s easy to see how employees might be tempted to falsify sales or overstate performance so they look like they’re hitting their targets.”

Giuliani added: “For many businesses, the lead-up to Christmas also represents a boost in demand. Many companies turn to temporary staff for support, but in the rush to improve customer service they may not adequately vet the new recruits. With many regular staff taking time off, the resulting lack of supervision also provides a rise in opportunities for the fraudster.”

Also, Giulani said: “We’ve also seen a marked rise in payment diversion fraud, where fake requests are made to change supplier’s bank details so that funds are diverted into the fraudster’s own bank account. Our analysis shows that cases range in value from just over £30,000 lost by one business in a single transaction to a total of £5 million extracted from another. In almost all the cases we’ve seen, fraudsters appear to be making use of openly declared business relationships.”

In conclusion, the KPMG analyst stated: “It’s particularly worrying that fraudsters often rationalise their behaviour. They may believe that they’re only ‘borrowing’ the money from their employer to tide them over an expensive Christmas, but the fact is that their actions might have serious repercussions when it comes to an organisation’s financial stability. It’s something that cannot be ignored because, if it is, any business falling victim to fraud is more likely to be a ghost to Christmas future.”

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UK retailers lose £2.7 billion to shoplifting, employee theft, internal fraud and administrative errors in last 12 months

According to the latest Global Retail Theft Barometer, shrink – comprised of shoplifting, employee theft, vendor or supplier fraud and administrative errors – has cost the retail industry more than £81 billion worldwide in 2013 and £2.7 billion in the UK alone. This represents 0.97% of all UK retailer sales on average.

Underwritten by an independent grant from Checkpoint Systems, the research was carried out in 2014 by The Smart Cube and Ernie Deyle, a retail loss prevention analyst. It’s based on in-depth phone and written survey interviews conducted in 24 countries among 222 retailers responsible for no less than £475 billion in sales.

The average cost of retail crime per person (which, unlike shrink, is based on dishonest employees, shoplifters, fraudulent suppliers and the cost of loss prevention) across the 24 countries surveyed ranged from £46 to £338. The annual cost of retail crime to UK shoppers, as passed on from retailers, averages £80.00 per person.

Shrink appears to be down slightly in most countries. The lowest shrink rates were recorded in Norway (.83% of retail sales) followed by Japan and the UK (.97%). The US came in at 1.48% of retail sales, down slightly from 1.50% last year. The highest rates were recorded in Mexico (1.70%) and China (1.53%).

Shrink (comprised of shoplifting, employee theft, vendor or supplier fraud and administrative errors) cost the retail industry more than £81 billion worldwide in 2013

Shrink (comprised of shoplifting, employee theft, vendor or supplier fraud and administrative errors) cost the retail industry more than £81 billion worldwide in 2013

Russell Holland, vice-president of sales for the UK and EMEA distributors at Checkpoint Systems, said: “Over the last year, retailers in the UK have been taking great strides and made substantial investments in the fight against retail crime. Many UK retailers reported that improved security methods have helped them to keep losses under control. We’re also seeing retailers invest in their employees’ education and understanding of loss prevention, marking an encouraging step in the fight against retail crime in the UK.”

While shoplifting remains the biggest cause of all retail shrink in 16 of the 24 countries surveyed, here in the UK both administrative and non-crime losses ranked first (at 36.5%) with shoplifting next on the list (at 25.3%).

Stolen merchandise: the most popular items

The most-stolen items across Europe are those products that are easy to conceal and harbour a good resale value, such as fashion accessories, wines and spirits. Other frequently stolen products include power tools, mobile accessories and make-up products.

Survey respondents state that source tagging – the application of EAS or RFID labels on goods prior to their arrival at retail stores – has increased around the globe. Such tagging is currently used on high value and high theft items like meat, health and beauty products and alcohol.

80% of UK retailers are source-tagging up to 10% of products. A further 20% are source-tagging over 20% of all merchandise. In addition, 50% of European retailers plan to increase the number of source-tagged SKUs.

According to The Smart Cube: “This report provides detailed descriptions of the sources of shrink and helps retailers understand the most cost-effective ways of addressing their problems. A number of Best Practices emerged from our research, including appropriate spending ranges to address the issue.”

Alcohol is a prime target for thieves

Alcohol is a prime target for thieves

“We’re pleased to support this global statistical research for the thirteenth year,” said Per Levin, president and chief sales officer for shrink management and merchandise visibility solutions at Checkpoint Systems. “Our hope is that retailers can learn more about the causes of shrink and work with their suppliers and solutions partners to create joint programmes designed to reduce shrink and its associated costs.”

Interested parties can obtain a copy of the latest Global Retail Theft Barometer report by logging on at: http://www.GlobalRetailTheftBarometer.com

*Retailers wishing to participate in next year’s Global Retail Theft Barometer study may register here

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