retail security

At the Checkout

Supermarkets battle shrink with innovative solution.

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.

One-Stop Security

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.

Combating Shrink

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."

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