Have you ever had a problem with clothing theft and found yourself frustrated by empty clothes hangers on the sales floor rack or lying in a fitting room? Maybe you found price tags and manufacturer labels lying on the floor and you are at your wits end trying to combat the shoplifting you know is taking place but can’t seem to prevent. I remember the frustration of finding multiple hangers in the fitting room of one department store I worked for and wishing there was a solution that would deter more of the theft activity. I liked the satisfaction of catching shoplifters, but I was also aware we were only able to scratch the surface of the theft that was taking place. When we did use security tags on clothing, it was limited to placing hard tags on high end coats and jackets we carried.
Several years later I worked for a big box retailer and we did use a combination of clothing security tags. In some instances we placed soft Checkpoint tags on clothing hang tags and went as far as to hide the tags in the pockets of items to try to keep the tags from being found and removed. In other situations when we had a higher priced item, or when we saw a theft trend on merchandise such as denim jeans, we began enhancing clothing security with hard tags. The hard tags were extremely difficult for shoplifters to defeat, requiring them to damage the merchandise the majority of the time in their efforts to remove the tags. Both styles of tags were compatible with the store Electronic Article Surveillance system. Any attempt to exit the store with security tags on clothing that had not been deactivated or removed would activate the alarm.
Over the years I have seen changes in the industry as electronic article surveillance tags have been embedded in manufacturer hang tags and UPC codes have been printed on the EAS tags themselves. Shoplifters were becoming adept at identifying the soft clothing security tags and were removing them more frequently. Others who were in a position to make changes were seeing the same problem we faced in the field. They figured out that if we could identify clothing security tags, so could the shoplifters and they were determined to find new ways to disguise tags. Steps were taken in the clothing security business to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. The results are seen in the current styles of soft tags and hard tags on the market today.
Another major advancement in checkpoint tags is the development of the “Gen 3” Hard Tag. This tag is round and is more pleasing to the eye than the “Gen 2” Hard Tag, and yet has the same capabilities as the “Gen 2” model. The previous version is effective and provides a strong visual deterrent effect but the “Gen 3” has a look that is more upscale and sleek in my opinion. Security tags on clothing can also be source tagged so that a store owner does not need to have staff take the time to do the work. Payroll is used to run the store so staff can focus on customer service and other tasks. These advancements in clothing security should be reason enough to encourage businesses to invest in these security devices.
Checkpoint tags have become versatile enough that they are no longer easy to identify on merchandise. With soft tags embedded in hang tags or having printed information on them, shoplifters fail to realize a tag is a security tag, and are more prone to leaving tags on when they attempt to steal. Hard tags make both a visual deterrent and strong defense against shoplifting. Using security tags on clothing will go a long way in preventing those empty hangers and torn tags from cluttering your floors.
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