Going the Extra Mile: Secure Recycle
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Dec 03, 2020
Savers Thrift Superstores are
all about offering great quality,
gently used clothing, accessories
and household goods.
With more than 300 locations in North
America and Australia, security also is top
of mind for company executives.
Security must place a key role as the
company resells and recycles quality
merchandise, giving communities a smart
way to shop, and it keeps more than
700 million pounds of used goods from
landfills every year. Savers takes their
recycling efforts a step further by helping
more than 100 nonprofit organizations,
purchasing their donated goods and
providing them with a source of revenue.
Known as Savers in the United States
and Australia, they also market their
holdings as Value Village in the United
States and Canada, Unique in the United
States, and Village des Valeurs in Quebec.
More than 21,000 employees must be kept
safe and secure while on duty.
With this many stores and more
coming online all the time, Savers has
and is purchasing numerous cameras,
more than 17,000 in all. The upgrade in
cameras is in full swing, and when a new
store is built, it is outfitted with an all IT
system. This ambitious plan also includes
upgrades at the company’s distribution
centers (trucking) and recycling centers.
To make this all work and provide
quality image resolution, Savers staff
called on an old friend and trusted partner,
Salient. With old DVR systems failing
continuously, Salient installed a completely
new head end solution that would manage
all video feeds, including those that come
from the collection of analog cameras.
Replacing the outdated storage system will
be Salient’s Power Choice LP.
According to Blake Albertsen, Salient’s
regional sales manager for the Northwest
United States and Western Canada, “the
solution is a 1U rack-mountable server.
Its use various from the capable delivery
of analog camera streams to the latest IP
If and when Savers builds a new facility,
an all-new IP network system is installed,
including the Power Choice system. For
existing stores, it has become a replacement
for worn and out of date DVRs/NVRs.
“Our goal has been to improve and
receive better quality video in every store,”
said Brandon Aho, director of IT and
application services at Savers. “We are
including Axis IP network cameras in
our new installations, and when the time
comes, this is the preferred system as
we retrofit. We’re seeing our investment
already taking off.”
The Canadian stores are smaller than
those found in the United States; however
each facility is placing 20 to 24 cameras
per site. Video surveillance systems have
become extremely useful for the company
loss prevention staff. Each LP officer works
in an assigned district or region. Obviously,
a staff member can’t be in every location
at the same time, so high-quality video has
become a valuable tool for that person.
“We are able to capture everything
thanks to the newly installed video
surveillance solutions, and because of
the Power Choice LP head end, our team
members are able to get high-quality
resolution in real-time,” Aho said.
Loss prevention officers can pull up
video feeds no matter the location they
may be working that day. They are able
to act quickly to thwart items “walking
out the store,” or follow up from a theft.
The video feeds also are sent to corporate
offices in Tukwilla, WA.
Almost half the stores and locations
have made the conversions to Power
Choice, and because each location has
different needs, such as storage and
frame rate specifications, the efforts have
an individualized touch. As expected,
COVID-19 has slowed the installation
process somewhat; however, slow but
sure, each location is getting the attention
“Despite COVID-19, we expect to have
everything in place on time, which is having
all NVRs out by late 2021,” Aho said.
“Perhaps the highest priority in this install
is providing all support resources that
the end-user could possibly need, along
with an ease of use value proposition.
We’re able to meet the specific needs of
each store; each location separately, and
make sure the analog equipment remains
productive and provide clear images until
the upgrades are complete.”
This article originally appeared in the November / December 2020 issue of Security Today.