Retailers worldwide recognize shoplifting as part of their daily challenges. Navigating through current financial times, retailers recognize an additional investment in technologies to curtail shoplifting is a high priority to combat rising shrink from casual shoplifters as well as organized retail crime groups.
But where do retailers begin when minding their own business? They need to invest in technology solutions that reduce costs, improve productivity, enhance customer satisfaction and create new sources of competitive differentiation. To maintain profitability without compromising shoppers’ in-store experience and to deliver the most protection from tight staff and budget allocations, retail executives are reviewing alternative technologies, especially advances in Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) as an important defense against the rise of casual and organized retail theft. It has been very effective in delivering a positive return on investment for retailers’ shrink reduction efforts across the globe.
Let’s see why EAS is effective in minding your business.
According to The 2011 Global Retail Threat Barometer, retail shrink accounts for more than $119 billion in direct losses worldwide —1.45% of total retail sales. Retailers have traditionally relied on Acousto-Magnetic (AM) and Radio-Frequency (RF) EAS technologies to protect merchandise against theft. However, as Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies help to speed up supply chains and manage store inventory, this new technology is also being evaluated to provide shrink visibility at the item level.
As a first line of defense, EAS solutions function as an active visual deterrent for potential thieves. EAS systems are designed to be powerful enough to deter shoplifters and organized thieves, but simple enough for store employees to use effectively in helping to control theft. To be effective EAS systems must perform reliably to alert store associates when “unsold” items are leaving the store. Conversely, EAS alarms should never be triggered by anything other than an active tag to maintain system integrity. They must perform this function in uncooperative environments, with stolen goods concealed or placed inside other items.
To provide maximum impact, EAS systems are typically placed at the front of the store, where intent to steal is obvious. When an EAS tag or label enters the system’s detection zone it triggers an audible alarm or other indicator. A technology’s ability to work on a wide variety of packaging and product types, its ability to alarm only in the targeted coverage area, its immunity to environmental noise and false alarms, and its resistance to countermeasures determine its effectiveness—and these factors all depend on the frequency used to create the link.
Acousto-Magnetic was designed to overcome weaknesses of other existing EAS technologies in helping to protect merchandise. With the highest detection rate in the industry, AM systems allow for wide exit coverage, reliable deactivation, and virtually no false alarms. This technology can detect tagged merchandise within foil-lined bags – even in metal carts – and it’s effective on products containing liquids and non-ferrous metals.
RFID technology, while not as robust or developed as AM EAS, can be used to curtail shoplifting at the front of stores. RFID technology can also control theft on the retail selling floor or in receiving areas as an extension of inventory management solutions. Regardless of where in the store RFID enabled solutions are deployed, these systems are gaining tremendous momentum in retail for their ability to provide near real-time visibility to inventories at the individual SKU level. Most retailers are deploying RFID technology to gain visibility to inventory levels and location within the store. These solutions help retailers to better serve customers by having the right merchandise at the right place at the right time.
Tyco offers retailers worldwide the flexibility to choose the technology path that works best for them, whether it’s a combination of AM and RFID or RFID as EAS. Regardless of your preferences, Tyco has the knowledge, commitment and resources to optimize your technologies for security and store performance – to help you mind your own business.