Danish Retailer Takes Up Fight Against Shrinkage With Video Surveillance From Milestone Systems

Matas has 2,000 employees and 27 million transactions for revenues of more than 3 billion Danish crowns per year. Thefts and errors or misunderstandings at checkout can lead to uncomfortable situations for this retail chain’s personnel and customers -- not to mention meaningful losses for Matas.

According to the Danish Business Association, shrinkage accounts for more than 5 billion crowns annually in the retail sector, which is a serious and growing problem.

“We have chosen to take up the fight against shrinkage and have therefore researched how we can best provide our employees with greater security, while simultaneously improving efficiency and limiting inconsistencies and errors at the checkouts,” said Marianne Sejbak, head of security at Matas.

The surveillance solution was decided to be based on IP video software from Milestone Systems, with expertise from Matas’ long-time partner IT Gruppen to implement the system.

Milestone XProtect Corporate software is seamlessly integrated with XProtect Retail to provide traditional video surveillance for each store with analytical capabilities of all the cash register transactions.

The POS (Point of Sale) system generates documentation for each transaction that is connected via the Milestone software with video recordings of the actions so it is possible to identify theft or errors -- and to resolve any possible doubts concerning payments, change, discounts, etc.

The Milestone retail solution is customized for the needs of Matas and offers the retailer the freedom to choose from more than 700 network video hardware products, meaning that a lot of Matas’ existing video devices can continue to be used. Due to the Milestone open platform, the solution can also be integrated with over 100 other systems like one from Milestone Solution Partner Cognimatics.

“We sought a flexible and reliable solution that is easy to manage, that would benefit our two most important assets: our customers and our employees,” said Henrik Rothe Juhl, technical manager at Matas. “With the solution from Milestone Systems and IT Gruppen we get a unique opportunity to optimize procedures and work processes in relation to the checkouts. By reducing the possibilities for errors we free up time for much more interesting things like delivering better service - which not only benefits our customers but naturally also our sales."

“In addition, we can use the video surveillance to help avoid or resolve abuse of credit cards, while also lowering the risks of shoplifting.”

According to Juhl, the collaboration with IT Gruppen is based on their many years of experience delivering solutions to some of the country’s biggest retail chains with a high level of security, where such a relatively complex system has to be implemented.

“In cooperation with our many retail customers, IT Gruppen continuously works on optimizing our surveillance solutions. From the market’s many advanced camera types we have chosen those products that give our customers the best possible value for money,” said says Michael Hygild Sorensen, Product Manager at IT Gruppen. “We also have a large installation team who can handle orders of this magnitude,"

In November, the video surveillance system begins installation in 55 Matas locations. As those implementations create the expected return on business value, the installations will expand further. Milestone Systems is seeing a general increase in demand for such video surveillance solutions from the retail sector worldwide.

“We have similar solutions installed in many shopping centers, supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and banks -- all of whom are fighting shrinkage along with the entire retail industry,” said Milestone Retail Manager Lars Wilson. “Such losses in the end affect the stores' profitability -- and for smaller establishments even their ability to survive as a business. So solutions like this one Matas is installing can minimize the risk and help loss prevention efforts, optimize business processes and improve service levels to the benefit of both customers and employees.”

The Matas video surveillance system will include integration with a People Counting IP solution that registers the number of people in a store, from Milestone Solution Partner Cognimatics, which operates with network video cameras from Axis. The customer counting helps each store compare numbers with actual sales figures, and set up store displays in the most beneficial way for customers, so the entire solution functions both as an analytical and management tool.

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