According to the annual study The Global Retail Theft Barometer ("The Global Retail Theft Barometer"), shoes are on the top list of the most frequently stolen goods in retail. It is impossible to calculate a thief even at the entrance to the store: statistics show that the social status, age and gender of the dishonest buyer can be very different. Experts know how to protect your store from intruders and reduce losses from theft Shoes Report.
EAS systems: types and differences
The format of the retail facility primarily affects how “protection” from thieves in a shoe store will be organized, and how serious it will be. It’s one thing when only half a pair is displayed in the hall, and the layout gives the buyer only an idea of the assortment, and to get the right model and size he needs to contact the seller. And it’s a completely different matter when the entire “warehouse” is located directly in the trading floor, and all pairs of shoes are laid out in it and boxes with all sizes are presented. This format is more risky: on the one hand, an open display and the ability for the buyer to choose the right product themselves can increase sales, but on the other hand, these same factors can cause an increase in theft. Trade objects of this format especially need reliable protection.
To prevent theft in shoe stores, a whole range of technical solutions is used, and anti-theft systems (EAS systems) play a large role in it. They include several components: antennas installed at the store entrance / exit, rigid sensors and labels attached to the goods, as well as pullers and deactivators, with which sensors and labels are removed from the goods if they are paid at the checkout. Anti-theft systems work as follows: the transmitter antenna emits a sequence of pulses that act on protective labels, forming an electromagnetic field. The receiving antenna picks it up and, when someone tries to take out the goods illegally, signals about it.
Today, EAS systems of several technologies are presented on the market (acoustomagnetic, radio frequency, electromagnetic, RFID), but Russian shoe retailers actively use only two of them: acoustomagnetic (AM) and radio frequency (RF).
Acoustic EAS Systems long known for their high response rate (up to 95%) and excellent noise immunity. AM-sensors work even on foil and metallized surfaces, and AM-labels (rectangular marks of white and black color or with a false bar code) are more durable than others, so it is more difficult for thieves to damage them. Sensormatic has been the world leader in the production of acoustic magnetic anti-theft systems for over 40 years.
RF systems they have a lower response rate (about 90%), they are more sensitive to noise and interference, and RF sensors can easily be removed with pullers that the thief can bring with him to the store. However, RF systems have some important advantages: a large selection of consumables (for example, RF labels can be different in shape (round, square, in the form of hearts ...), color (green, red, black), size (from 22 to 50 mm in diameter) and price (it is low compared to the cost of consumables AM technology).
Depending on their capabilities and preferences, some retailers opt for acousto-magnetic anti-theft systems (they have recently become more and more popular), others on radio frequency ones. However, the market does not stand still, and manufacturers offer new systems that guarantee high reliability and ease of installation and operation.
The popularity of the "invisible" defense is growing steadily. So, more and more shoe retailers today choose Source Tagging - the introduction of a protective tag (AM or RF) at the stage of production of goods. That is, the label is sewn into shoes (usually in the heel) at the enterprise where it is produced. This method of protection has established itself as one of the most reliable and safe, because retailers thus have the opportunity to hide tags from thieves and thereby minimize the risk that the tag will be noticed, damaged or removed from the product. In addition, Source Tagging allows you to keep the layout on the trading floor as attractive as possible, because sensors and labels are no longer attached externally to the product, spoiling its appearance and interfering with fitting.
In premium stores, not only “invisible” labels (Source Tagging) can be used, but also “invisible” antennas. Some manufacturers (for example, Sensormatic) offer EAS systems that are completely hidden from the eyes of the buyer: they are mounted not at the entrance to the trading floor, but in the floor and ceiling. Thus, customers who enter the store do not even realize that such systems are installed there. Moreover, when they try to steal, they do not hear the alarm signal: it can come, for example, to the keychain of a store security officer or to the room where the security control panel is located.
Another trend is the installation of anti-theft antennas in shoe stores with an additional loop on the floor, so retailers can “catch” thieves who, during fitting, leave their old shoes in the store and leave the new, supposedly theirs, from the trading floor. Systems with an additional loop, unlike others, are able to detect an inactive mark even on the floor itself.
The interest of shoe retailers in anti-theft systems with a metal detection function is growing. The reason is foil (bags glued inside the foil) bags, which are increasingly used by attackers to steal. These accessories are not “called” by anti-theft systems, so you can put your favorite goods in them and easily take them out of the store. But if antennas with a metal detector function are installed in a retail facility, such thieves are no longer afraid of it: a metal detector makes it possible to recognize intruders with foil bags at the stage of entering the store and draw the attention of security guards to them.
At the last EuroShop exhibition in Dusseldorf, a device was presented that aroused genuine interest among retailers. We are talking about the new rigid sensor Sensormatic High-Heel Footwear Tag, designed to protect high-heeled shoes. As a rule, almost all the sensors available for sale today look clumsy on the product, interfere with fitting and thus spoil the shopping experience. However, the above does not apply to the Sensormatic High-Heel Footwear Tag. Thanks to its aesthetic and unobtrusive design, it looks elegant on the product. Its design involves attaching the sensor to the back of the heel, and not to its front or hole in the shoe, making it less noticeable on the shoe. The sensor is difficult to damage, it does not leave any marks on the shoe, is easily attached and disconnected from the goods. You can protect them with shoes with heels of almost any style and height. The length of the sensor is 99 mm, width - 69 mm, height - 70 mm, weight - 37,7 g.
What else to pay attention to
In addition to shoes, a shoe store often sells related products, such as jewelry. They also need protection. Rigid sensors to ensure the safety of accessories should be light and inconspicuous (after all, many products are already small in size), as well as reliable (small accessories are easy to hide and steal). All these requirements are taken into account, for example, in a special Sensormatic sensor for protecting accessories. Due to the fasteners, adjustable to four different lengths, it allows you to protect several products with one sensor at once, and due to the device turning by 360 degrees, products can be demonstrated from different sides. A stainless steel protective coating and a U-shaped clasp prevent scratches and damage to the product, and the small size and shape of the sensor do not spoil the display.
As a rule, shoe retailers who rent premises in shopping centers “come” there with their anti-theft systems, and when they “leave” them, they take them with them. But if it so happens that the store rents a room in which EAS systems are already installed, it would be better for him to consult with specialists from the company that supplies and install fire protection equipment to check their performance, as well as select the right supplies. The experts of the supplier company will help you choose the most optimal technical solution if the retailer prefers to install a completely new anti-theft system in the store.
Selection of EAS-systems and their supplier
When choosing an EAS-system, several factors should be taken into account: the configuration of the store, the location of the antennas in it, the range of products presented, etc. Some other details that may affect the quality of the antennas should be taken into account: for example, is there interference from electrical appliances, labeled goods and metal objects that are located near antennas, from escalators near the store, EAS systems installed in neighboring shopping facilities. Subsequently, all this, as well as improper operation of the antennas, can lead to a deterioration in the quality of detection of anti-theft systems, as a result of which the number of false alarms can increase, the distance of the deactivation of the tag can decrease, the detection at certain positions of the tag, etc.
Here are a few rules to extend the life of the antennas and minimize the risk of their failure.
1. Do not place massive metal objects close to 50 cm near the components of the anti-theft system
2. It is not recommended to expose the protection system to direct heat (air conditioners, heat guns, etc.).
3. Protective labels must not be placed less than 1,5-2 m from the pedestals. This also applies to protected goods.
In order for the anti-theft system to work for a long time and ensure a high level of safety of goods in the store, it is important to choose the right technical solution, install it and operate it correctly.
When choosing a supplier of anti-theft equipment, you should pay attention to what equipment it supplies, its experience and reputation, as well as stipulate the maintenance of EAS systems. If it provides, how good is it? It is important to understand that it is not enough just to install an anti-theft system in a store - you need a company that will maintain it constantly in working condition and respond promptly to retailer requests. To ensure a high level of service, the service organization should have all the resources necessary for this: competent specialists, the ability to provide a single level of service in all regions where the retailer is present, and the availability of a replacement fund.
High-quality and correctly working anti-theft systems can significantly reduce the level of theft in retail. But I note that the best results are still achieved with an integrated approach: when using, in addition to EAS-systems, other technical solutions (for example, video surveillance systems, access control systems, etc.) in combination with administrative decisions - clearly instructing personnel and monitoring the implementation of their duties. This is the only way to deal with shoplifting as efficiently as possible and achieve serious success in this difficult business.
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