Dollar General has deployed Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) technology from Checkpoint Systems at about 2,800 of its retail locations as it looks to increase efforts to deter shoplifting.
Before the implementation, the discount retailer had achieved positive results when it tested Checkpoint EAS pedestals and deactivation systems in a limited number of stores to gauge the benefits of further deterring shoplifting and protecting high-theft inventory with visible EAS tagging.
“Source tagging alone reduced theft of high-risk items by 44% in our stores,” said an unnamed vice president of loss prevention at a major North American drugstore chain quoted by Checkpoint in the press release touting the Dollar General deal.
There may be a fine line between protecting inventory from theft and making customers feel like they are being monitored a little too closely. Source tagging allows retailers and their manufacturer partners to walk that line without making customers nervous. It helps that the tags themselves, usually applied during manufacturing, are less bulky and enable a more discreet — though still visible — warning against in-store theft than other forms of in-store security tagging.
Checkpoint is not the only company in the space offering EAS source tagging, though it does seem to be routinely mentioned along with Tyco Retail as a key player in this market. At a time when cybersecurity is becoming an issue of prominent concern for the retail sector, let's not forget retailers still face a more basic security threat in the brick-and-mortar environment every day, one that can cause revenue leakage on a consistent basis if not addressed. These companies are bringing to bear advancements in security technology that can help plug the leak.
An interesting footnote to this announcement is that it comes almost a year to the date after Checkpoint was acquired in a $443 million deal by CCL Industries. The reasons for the acquisition appeared to have less to do with theft prevention products and more to do with Checkpoint's overall RFID technology expertise, and the importance that RFID is expected to have ongoing in retail’s big-picture omnichannel strategies as merchants look to better manage and gain quicker access to details about broadly dispersed inventory. The Dollar General deployment is a reminder that as we wait for the omnichannel’s big picture to come into focus, theft prevention remains an everyday challenge that has an immediate and real effect on the bottom lines of retailers and manufacturers.