The idea of purchasing a clothing security system may seem to be an expensive prospect for smaller retailers. Before writing it off owners and managers should consider the impact Organized Retail Crime groups can have on a clothing store. Organized Retail Crime (ORC) is not the impulse shoplifter, this is a group of people who plan and target specific merchandise and retailers. The groups seek merchandise that is hard to track, easy to steal and easy to re-sell at a significant profit. They will pay people cents on the dollar to go into stores with “shopping lists” to steal specific merchandise. While the amateur shoplifter does financial harm to a store, it is usually in smaller doses and often it is done on an impulse, like a teenager stealing on a dare from friends. I am not marginalizing this group of thieves but compared to what ORC groups are doing is a drop in the bucket. Let me give you a two examples of Organized theft activity:
• Patch.com March 9, 2018, by Neal McNamara, “Downtown Seattle Thieves Stole Liquor, Clothes – And Tide Pods” the reporter writes, “Police recovered over $160,000 worth of goods and cash…They also found clothing, perfume, and those notorious Tide Pods.”
• Mypanhandle.com Jan 12, 2018, “WCSO: Retail Theft Ring Busted in Walton County”. “Investigators found more than $6,000 in stolen merchandise inside of the car from several different stores including Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Justice, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger.”
These are examples of Organized Retail Crime thefts and as you can see the dollar values of such cases go into the thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. In light of these numbers it is imperative that all retailers have a clothing security plan in place that incorporates the use of electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags to protect clothing and softlines goods.
What are EAS tags and how do they protect clothes from being pilfered? You have probably encountered them in your own shopping sprees. These are usually the hard plastic tags that you find attached to garments in addition to the manufacturer hang tags on sleeves or waistbands of a shirt or slacks. The security tags are two-piece designs, a main tag with a pin and a clip piece to keep it in place. EAS tags are designed to create an almost seamless connection that prevents them from being pried apart. It is not uncommon for a shoplifter to see a tag and put an item down. Rather than risk trying to pull apart a tag which would take too much time and probably result in an alarm activation, thieves just move on to other merchandise or other stores. Speaking of alarm activations I should mention that these tags, both the hard and soft label versions are built with electronic article surveillance technology imbedded in them. This means that if a criminal decides to try to just conceal an item and walk out of the store with it they will set off EAS pedestals near the front doors. Trained employees will quickly respond and check receipts and get unpaid merchandise back.
Returning to the initial question of whether a small business owner can afford to purchase a clothing security system to prevent ORC there are two considerations, cost of a system and space. Loss Prevention Systems Inc. (LPSI) founder Bill Bregar knows that this is not an easy decision since many small clothing retailers are operating on a shoestring budget. There also may not be a lot of room in a store and selling space is at a premium. Taking away space for EAS pedestals may not seem to be a viable option. To answer the concern over price LPSI has provided the means for owners and managers to see how a system can pay for itself through shortage reduction in a matter of months. This is done through a ROI calculator on their web page. Everyone is free to use it with no obligation.
The issue of lost salesfloor space with the setup of EAS pedestals is not a concern either. ORC groups won’t be able to fill bags or roll shopping carts out the doors without being detected by a EAS security system.
All shoplifting is criminal and a drain on finances but ORC groups are particularly harmful. Don’t allow amateurs or professionals to walk out with your profits. Apply EAS Tags to all of your goods and install a EAS pedestal or overhead system today!
Need information on EAS tags? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.