At the Checkout
Supermarkets battle shrink with innovative solution.
- By Paul Cataldo
- Dec 01, 2009
Like all retailers, Sainsbury's Supermarkets has realized the
need for heightened in-store security to combat shrink. This
popular chain's brand is built upon a rich 140-year history of
providing customers with healthy, safe, fresh and tasty food, as well as
clothing, general merchandise and pharmacy items. Quality and fair
prices go hand-in-hand with a responsible approach to business.
Sainsbury's recently installed a holistic solution to fight theft. As
the third largest food retailer in the United Kingdom, Sainsbury's recognizes
that integrating solutions is the best way to address widespread
shrink, which can significantly threaten food retailers' bottom lines.
All Sainsbury's stores installed superior electronic article surveillance.
In 2007, after a thorough evaluation, Sainsbury began installing
Checkpoint's Liberty/3G EAS systems. In doing so, it gained the
benefits of working with a supplier that could offer solutions tailored
to its security needs and serve as a one-stop shop for all of its shrink
management solutions. In addition, Sainsbury's sought a high level
of customer service.
Since then, Sainsbury's has beefed up its defenses by installing
Checkpoint's Evolve EAS antennas to take advantage of the additional
capabilities this newer technology provides. With the installation
of a radio frequency-based EAS and deactivation equipment in
more than 400 stores, Sainsbury's has increased its in-store product
protection and expanded its ability to source tag merchandise.
Sainsbury's has found that Evolve S10 antennas provide muchneeded
flexibility without compromising coverage. Each antenna can
be mounted onto nearly any surface, such as glass, wood or metal,
freeing up retail space for merchandising and sales. In addition, it
provides an enhanced range of coverage of up to 2.1 meters to ensure
full protection at store exits.
The shrink management system also enables increased capabilities for
data analytics and reduces the number of false alarms, providing an
enhanced customer shopping experience. It also provides a migration
path to RFID when retailers are ready, which can lead to further benefits such as increased inventory visibility.
"In-store protection is high on our agenda at Sainsbury's, so we
decided to invest in this EAS program," said Marc Pilcher, central
business partner at Sainsbury's retail profit protection. "It now allows
us to pursue a wide-ranging source tagging program, which has
some huge potential benefits. Source tagging means we can consistently
protect our products and reduce the amount of time our colleagues
have to spend securing the items; that's a double business
benefit. By reducing shrinkage, it also will help us to keep prices low
for our shoppers."
As a tested theft prevention technique, source tagging consumer
products involves applying an EAS label during the manufacturing
process. Without altering the product packaging or image, the security
label is integrated directly into a product's labeling or packaging at the
point of manufacture, meaning it arrives at the store shelf-ready from
a security point of view. Applying the EAS tags at the source rather
than in-store also means the staff is free to concentrate on delivering
quality customer service to shoppers.
The Next Step
To complement its extensive EAS and source tagging programs, Sainsbury's
is currently testing the range of Alpha two-alarm products.
Alpha's solutions for high-theft merchandise include the latest threealarm
technology on S3 Spider Wraps and Keepers. The technology
enables Sainsbury to display merchandise securely in an open environment,
allowing customers to easily access and purchase items.
With three-alarm technology, if someone tampers with the security
packaging on a product, an alarm will sound. If a shoplifter attempts
to leave the store without paying for the product, it also will
trigger an alarm. Finally, if the shoplifter does manage to leave the
store with the merchandise, an alarm on the product continues to
sound, even after it is removed from the store, until it is deactivated.
This provides a high level of security in stores and calls attention to
stolen merchandise once it's on the street, often causing the thief to
abandon the merchandise.
Open merchandising is proven to increase sales of items that otherwise
would have to be locked and inaccessible to consumers. Studies
have shown that if goods are inaccessible, shoppers are much less
likely to purchase them. Sainsbury also is testing Checkpoint's mobile
phones, satellite navigation systems and digital cameras to determine
their benefits for future application.
"We take the threat of shoplifting very seriously,
and anything we can do to reduce it is a top priority,"
Pilcher said. "Using advanced EAS technology
is a proven means of protecting our goods."