My daughter is in training to become a department manager for a clothing store chain. She stays in regular contact with friends and co-workers even when she isn’t at work, often learning about events that take place shortly after they happen. Not long ago she was at home and a friend who had just gotten off of work called and told her about a group of shoplifters who had been in the store and ran out with two large tote-sized bags and a backpack that appeared to be filled with merchandise. One of the suspects was seen running to a car and jumping into it. The other two suspected thieves were spotted walking quickly to a nearby store in the same shopping plaza and entering it. According to my daughter’s friend a bit later a customer came to their store carrying a pair of name brand shoes that came from their store with a clothing alarm tag still attached to the shoe. The tag had a built in alarm that was still blaring when the patron brought the shoes into the store.
There are a few of you reading this article unfamiliar with a clothing alarm or clothing security tags. Both of these are terms for devices used to prevent the pilfering of clothing from retailers. The tags can be pinned on clothes (usually in a seam to prevent damage to material) in a location that will be visible to a thief. The idea is to deter theft from ever taking place. Often just the sight of a tag is enough to make a criminal reconsider attempting to steal something from a store. The tags are designed to withstand efforts to pry them off of merchandise and they can withstand quite a bit of physical pounding if someone were to try to break them apart. That type of abuse is going to result in damaged goods anyways rendering them useless for wear or resale. Tags also carry electronic article surveillance technology that will cause a Checkpoint tower alarm to sound when tagged products come too close to the towers. Obviously the idea behind the alarms is that trained associates quickly react to alarm activations and merchandise is recovered for the store.
As I mentioned earlier my daughter’s store was using a clothing alarm tag that was sounding a built in alarm when the honest customer brought it back into the store. This store uses clothing security tags that have these built in alarms and others that only sound an alarm if tampered with or set off a tower when a shoplifter tries to sneak tagged merchandise out of a store. The benefit of the added alarm is that it does make it very clear when a person is carrying stolen merchandise around. It is difficult to be discreet while trying to duck into a store and carrying merchandise that is sending out an alarm noise.
I asked my daughter if the police had been called when the perpetrators fled. She told me that their policy is not to call the police on suspected shoplifters who run out the door. Even if merchandise with a clothing alarm tag that sets off the towers at the front doors there is no follow up other than to notify the district Loss Prevention Manager. Having been a Loss Prevention Manager for quite a few years this bothered me and intrigued me at the same time. I know the store has at least some security cameras in it. Why not review some video and then contact the police about the suspected theft? In my opinion this also defeats a part of the purpose of having an electronic article surveillance system in place. Yes, the clothing security tags do deter theft but there has to be follow-up. If there is no follow up with police when there is a strong probability that a theft has taken place then I believe a part of the value of a theft prevention system is lost.
Shoplifters will learn through the grapevine what a store’s policies are regarding shoplifters. When there is no concern that police will be contacted for theft issues thieves begin to take advantage of those businesses. A clothing alarm tag will have the most impact when employees respond to alarms and authorities are contacted for incidents with strong evidence that a theft has occurred.
Don’t take half measures to protect your store and merchandise. Use clothing security tags on all of your products and train employees on alarm response. For the rare occasion someone gets away be sure to partner with police and prosecute when possible. Send a strong message to criminals to take their antics elsewhere.
Clothing Security Tags are important and we can help you with it. Call 1.86.914.2567 and let’s talk.