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Apprehension or Prevention?

Probable cause, intent, to detain or not to detain, can all be a headache for the small independent retailer. This begs the question: Should your efforts be focused on apprehension or prevention? If prevention is more your style, where are your efforts best spent?

Giving top notch customer service, driving home to your employees that first, foremost and fanatically SERVE THE CUSTOMER will have the most profound impact on minimizing loss due to shoplifting. Beyond serving the customer, taking advantage of technology are paramount to reducing loss and keeping your employees safe.

Cameras have improved leaps and bounds with better image quality and lower prices. Electronic Article Surveillance, aka EAS, is another way to use technology to decrease loss, increase customer satisfaction and make your store a safer place to shop. Two of the major objections I have heard over the years for getting an EAS system are:

1. Making your customers feel like they are at the airport.

2. The expense of a system.

While I understand both of these objections, they are not entirely valid; there are ways around them. People prefer to shop at stores that employ EAS and feel that a store having EAS saves them money, and it does. Prices for an EAS system have dropped over the years. Depending on the type of product you want to protect, and where you are located, an EAS system can be purchased and professionally installed for under $2,000. I will delve into details on EAS in future articles but in the meantime contact us for more information on EAS or other products that will help you to sell more, lose less and protect your investment.

loss prevention

Product Highlight: EAS Security System

Bonus Tip:

Wednesday through Saturday are shoplifters’ favorite days to steal from you! Shoplifters are, in general, lazy as they prefer the evening hours. Thanks, -Mark Turner

How to Reduce Shoplifting

 My Top Five Ways to Reduce Shoplifting in Your Store

5. KEEP YOUR STORE CLEAN; WELL ORGANIZED and AVOID FIXTURES THAT YOUR BLOCK VIEW A clean, well-lit and well-organized store will tell the shoplifter that you pay attention to detail and pay attention to them! Avoid fixtures that block the view, if you use gondola shelving, I suggest no more than 46” tall

4. LOCK IT UP! Putting your higher end small items in a quality showcase will not only stop the product from jumping into customer’s pockets it will add value. A well-lit case will enhance the look and perceived value of the items in it.

3. INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY. Camera systems have gone down in price, and the quality has gone up over the years. When shopping for a camera system avoid the temptation to purchase a low-end one, often the picture quality is poor. Electronic article surveillance (EAS) is an efficient way to reduce shoplifting at your store. EAS tags or labels are attached to commonly stolen items. These tags are deactivated or removed at the point of sale. If the tags/labels are not removed or deactivated at the point of sale antennas at the exit (or restroom) will sound alerting the staff and the shoplifter.

2. COMMUNCATION, COMMUNCATION, COMMUNCATION. Communication is key to reducing theft. Keep an open on-going communication with your employees and encourage them to talk to each other about problem customers or items. In addition talk to other retailers in your area about their shoplifting experiences. Call crime check and ask them if there is an officer assigned to shoplifting public relations.

1. SERVE THE CUSTOMER. The most effective, and least expensive, method of reducing shoplifting is to SERVE THE CUSTOMER. Reinforce with your employees when they see, hear or meet a customer all other duties are put on hold. First, foremost SERVE THE CUSTOMER. Doing this will not only increase sales (and profit) it will also reduce shoplifting. Chances are the thief will not take a risk if they are being watched, they will go somewhere else. There is no one size fits all approach or magic to loss prevention. Taking these steps will help you sell more, lose less and protect your investment. Your payoff will be increased profit, higher job satisfaction for you and your employees and make your store a better place to shop.

Product Highlight: Power Cord Lock Box 1. Easy to install 2. Simple to use 3. Cords & Cables

lock box

Bonus Tip:

If you have fitting rooms in your store try to keep them locked and have clear signage asking them to see an employee for the key. Thanks, -Mark Turner

What is an EAS System?

I received a call from a Client the other day who asked a great question. She started with "I have a stupid question." As a Dear Abby column said: "There is no such thing as a stupid question.” Better to ask than to continue on your ignorant way and make a mistake. She asked me "What is an EAS system and what parts make up an EAS system?" I felt terrible assuming that everyone knew what an EAS system was and what items were needed.

There are three parts to an EAS system:

Antenna: The antenna is the part that is at the exit doors or any other areas that needs protection like bathrooms, employee exits and the like. There are many choices when it comes to antennas some of the factors that come into play when deciding what antennas are best for you are the width of your the area you want to cover, type of products, aesthetics and budget. As your EAS experts, American Retail Supply Loss Prevention is here to help you discover the best antenna for you and your store.

EAS Targets: These are the devices that go on your products that need protection. Very few stores choose to protect all items in their store. The percent or items that require protection vary depending on crime in the area, product mix, and other factors vary but usually, it is between 20% and 40% of your products and we always suggest your high end items. As mentioned in the last newsletter choosing a system that has a large selection of targets, both labels, and non-label reusable targets, will ensure you have the right EAS target for your product.

Deactivation/Removal: Simply put the items that you want to "kill" on the deactivation pad such as single-use EAS labels or remove reusable tags, spider wraps, and other EAS targets. Unlike antennas, there are only a few choices to make when it comes to deactivation of single-use labels. For reusable targets make sure you have the right removal tool for the items you purchased! This may sound obvious but I have had those desperate calls when someone purchased an EAS target online only to find they do not have the proper tool to take it off. While installing an EAS system will not eliminate all shrinkage.

Getting the right EAS system for your store and product mix will allow you to sell more, lose less and protect your investment. This will pay off in increased profit, higher job satisfaction for you and your employees and make your store a better place to shop.

Call American Retail Supply at 800-426-5708 for a quote or more information.


Bonus tip:

Frank Abagnale wrote: “The police can't protect consumers. People need to be more aware and educated about theft. You need to be a little bit wiser, a little bit smarter and there's nothing wrong with being skeptical. We live in a time when if you make it easy for some to steal, someone will." -Mark Turner

ESL Newsletter

Have you thought about Electronic Shelf Labels? When managing a store, you know that you constantly have to buy resources. These ongoing costs include paying for pricing labels that put price tags on inventory and cleaning supplies to keep the store clean and safe for customers. Also, who could forget the merchandise itself, the whole reason why people come to your store with their money to buy their required goods?

Today, however, you can remove one of these ongoing expenses, that being traditional pricing labels, with brand new electronic shelf labels. There are various retail store corporations that already use them for their stores across the country. To summarize about electronic shelf labels, they are the first step in achieving the retail store of tomorrow.

What are ESLs? Electronic shelf labels (ESLs) are thin, digital screens that can display prices, product names, and much more, in the most clean, eye-catching, and appealing ways possible. With ESLs you no longer need to remove old labels and print new ones in their place. ESLs allow retailers to be able to wirelessly update content and pricing on their shelves quickly and efficiently. Not only is this one less thing for employees to constantly do, but it saves money as you rely less on paper and ink constantly. You can use them for many years to come before they show any signs of failing or slowing down.


ESLs can come in any sizes you prefer. If you want them to be thin, small, and narrow in places where old price labels used to be, you can definitely place them there. You can also buy them in larger sizes to serve as promotional ads, for providing directions to other aisles, and seasonal messages. They are also highly versatile, so they can also be placed on walls, hung on ceilings, and on portable stands where customers can easily notice them.

How Can I Use ESLs? If you want to get really creative, you can even have your screen’s graphics change messages and/or images every 30 seconds or so. This is useful for when you want to inform your in-store customers about hot products and sales from other parts of your store. But how do they work, you ask? You will be able to manage each and every ESL from a computer or tablet with modern software installed. From one remote location, you will be allowed to check and edit labels digitally, without needing to tinker with the actual labels themselves. What takes several minutes to change a label with a traditional pricing gun would only take a few seconds with today’s modern technology.

Electronic shelf labels have existed for 15 to 20 years now, but they have been becoming more and more affordable to the point where they could very much become the norm in the retail industry in just a few years from now. They have also become more easier to use, more technologically advanced, and have more features and customization options than ever before.

How Can ESLs Impact My Customers? There are various shoppers that have yet to encounter an ESL in person. But once they do, they will quickly be impressed with its technology and find how ahead of the curve your store is. This will make your store more intriguing overall, and not get behind times in any way. And as mentioned previously, you can save money and expand your budget, making more room for cleaning and maintenance. So not only can you have attractive, electronic labels and/or signage on display, you can also have the time and money to keep your store constantly spotless overall.

Three Types of Popular Jewelry Displays on Sale

If you own a jewelry store, or there’s a jewelry department inside of it then having jewelry displays such as busts are important to own. Rather than being laid out flat or hung on a slatwall display, jewelry displays give consumers a good idea of how the jewelry item will look when worn, without having somebody else have it on them.

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Ultimate Guide To Using Plastic Packaging Bags

When choosing packaging for your store, plastic bags are a wonderful option. They are made of flexible and thin plastic textile or film and come in various designs and types. Additionally,plastic bags come in 2 main densities, high and low, as well as a variety of thickness.With so many different options avalible, here is a guide to help narrow down your choices. 

plastic bag

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5 Benefits Of Reusable Shopping Bags For Grocery Stores

Disposable shopping bags are commonly used everywhere including department stores and gas stations. These lightweight bags make the shopping experience easier. With the average American using about 6 shopping bags a week, about 1.8 billion bags are discarded weekly by the population of about 30 million. Luckily, you can easily find reusable shopping bags to offer to your customers. Consider these 5 benefits of reusable shopping bags for grocery stores. 

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What to Do When the Loss Prevention Alarms Sound

Investing in checkpoint tags for loss prevention is a wise thing for any company. Security tags help ensure that customers are paying for your products, not just walking out the door with them. Once you install surveillance antennas and place the security tags on all the merchandise you need to take  time to educate and train your staff on how they should deal with an attemped theft situation. 

loss prevention

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Why Home and Business Owners Need to Buy Wall Panels

One of the best kept secrets to updating rooms is with wall panels. Wall panels are boards that you mount to your walls that come in different colors, materials, patterns, or textures. No matter if you want to use them for the home or for your business, they can make some major improvements to any room without breaking the bank. 

wall panels

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