Improving Operations

Kirkland’s Home Décor stores choose new cameras to improve security

Protecting assets and people has always been a top priority for Kirkland's, a global home décor retailer. With over 400 stores in 37 states, Kirkland's is a go-to spot for a broad selection of distinctive merchandise: art, mirrors, candles, lamps, frames, accent rugs, furniture and more. When they evaluated their security solutions in 2016, they determined they needed to upgrade the analog video surveillance systems in use at their existing locations and plan for new stores.

Saraya Charlton, Kirkland's Loss Prevention Investigator, said the analog video surveillance cameras they had in place were acceptable, but they desired cameras with wider coverage and better resolution. The department was also frustrated with the amount of time it took to investigate incidents for loss prevention and personal injury claims.

Each time they were called to investigate an incident – vandalism, theft, employee misconduct, a slip and fall, or a cut from broken merchandise – each individual store had to extract the footage from the analog DVR at that location and send it to loss prevention at Kirkland's headquarters.

Charlton said Kirkland's sought an IP-based solution that could be accessed remotely and would make the loss prevention investigation process more efficient. Management wanted a camera that provided a clear picture, while minimizing bandwidth usage and providing additional analytics capabilities.

Working with several systems integrators, Kirkland's chose to deploy an IP video surveillance solution consisting of Hanwha video surveillance cameras managed by Salient's enterprise Video Management Software (VMS).

The first phase of the security upgrade has included the deployment of 1,800 Hanwha Wisenet X series XNV-6011 2 megapixel HD dome cameras and Wisenet Lite vandal-resistant dome cameras at 200 Kirkland's locations as well as the distribution center and the e-commerce building. As new stores are built by this growing retailer, they will also include the Hanwha-Salient security solution. They expect to have a full migration to IP at all locations by 2021.

Each Kirkland's location is outfitted with approximately eight cameras that are positioned to capture the entrance, the sales poor and the back of house operations. Charlton said Hanwha's cameras provide the most comprehensive view of the store possible.

"The wide-angle capability – as well as the quality of the camera – is really what sold us on Hanwha," Charlton said. "We are getting the best views possible and they are allowing us to see the entire sales poor which is exactly what we wanted and needed."

Hanwha's Wisenet X series of cameras is a perfect fit for the retail environment. The wide-angle 2.8 mm lens captures a 112-degree horizontal field of view. For a retailer, that means doing more with less.

Charlton said the Hanwha cameras are particularly useful at store entrances because, thanks to the WDR feature, video images are not affected by the bright sunlight that often shines through the windows and they can still see faces clearly. And because many of Hanwha's cameras offer license free analytics, Kirkland's will begin exploring that capability in the future to gain information on people counting, heat mapping and dwell time.

The Hanwha-Salient solution has improved Kirkland's loss prevention investigation efficiency since the team is able to pull recorded video from any camera via the Salient VMS rather than wait for information to be extracted from an analog DVR. They also appreciate being able to use Hanwha's Device Manager to troubleshoot and resolve any camera issues remotely first rather than unnecessarily sending out a service technician.

In addition to offering quality images, improved field of view and more efficient operations, the Hanwha solution has also helped Kirkland's conserve valuable bandwidth with Hanwha WiseStream II compression technology, Charlton said.

WiseStream II dynamically controls encoding, balancing quality and compression according to movement of the image Combined with H.265 compression, bandwidth efficiency can be improved by up to 75 percent compared to current H.264 technology.

"We share our video surveillance and security bandwidth with our Point of Sale system and we don't ever want to take away from the bandwidth of POS transactions or impact the speed at which they go through," Charlton said. "Hanwha's Wisestream compression technology fits our business model and along with Salient helps preserve and efficiently manage bandwidth. It's really helpful to have a camera that's smart enough to be able to tweak and regulate itself."

This article originally appeared in the April 2020 issue of Security Today.

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