I just got back from a much-needed vacation in France and Germany. Even though I tried to shut down from work a bit, I found it difficult as we were doing a bit of window-shopping. What I saw amazed me. Shoplifting, use of a clothing alarm and clothing security by retailers is alive and breathing in Europe.
In fact it was unusual to see a retailer of any size that did not have some protection. It seems that European retailers have figured it out; proactive clothing security is the way to go if you want to make any money (or survive). I even saw a clothing alarm system in a shop that could not have been more that 200 square feet and one isle.
I saw security tags on clothes of every kind. Of course leather but they have in many cases gone down to a lower price point than I see in most U.S. retailers. What I heard is that “If you have a system, use it”. Clothing security was even being used on items with price points in the $1 – $2 area. This applied to both large and small retailers.
I did not see the use of as much CCTV as I thought I would have with clothing security . Major retailers had them in several locations but I would have thought the POS and all entrances would have been covered much more. Of course these cameras could have been hidden. We also have to keep in mind that the laws governing liability are different there. They are not as concerned about lawsuits.
What I wondered about was their use of a Loss Prevention Agent on the sales floor. My wife decided for me that testing the system was probably not a good idea!
But clothing security did seem to be a huge issue. Retailers made use of everything we have here in the U.S. also such as lanyards, flex strings and keepers. I also saw a fair amount of ink tags. What I did not see is some of the more recent security tags on clothes like the new Checkpoint releases. Clothing security tags there seemed to be on the larger size. Also clothing security tags in Europe use the same various lengths of pins that we do here.
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