Fighting instore theft

By: trademagazin Date: 2008. 03. 28. 08:00

There is no such thing as perfect security. Store owners can do no more than to make life as difficult for thieves as possible. Expensive products can be fitted with expensive anti-theft gadgets. However, most items in FMCG assortments cost less than such gadgets would cost. According to data from Axis Communications, 1.38 per cent of merchandise is stolen from Hungarian stores on average, which is slightly more than the 1.24 per cent recorded in Western Europe and less than the 1.56 per cent in the US. Customers are responsible for the largest part of shrinkage (42.6 per cent), store employees take another 35 per cent, while 6.2 per cent of the loss is caused by suppliers. The remaining 16.2 per cent is probably due to shortcomings in administration. Representatives of retail enterprises are not too willing to discuss the measures taken to prevent theft. – The simplest thing small stores can use is a mirror – says Attila Botkó, sales director of Groby. A wide range of anti-theft tags and electronic gates is also available. Security guards are frequently employed as well, but only one out of ten are true professionals, while many steal from the store they are supposed to guard. IP-based security cameras are gradually displacing traditional CCTV cameras in stores. According to data from J.P. Freeman, there are 6 million security cameras in American stores. While analogue cameras cannot identify criminal behaviour, the signal transmitted by IP-based digital cameras can be processed by special software which identifies criminal behaviour patterns and alerts security staff. This means that you don’t need someone in front of monitors all day long. Signals from IP cameras can also be sent anywhere using the Internet. The total market of IP cameras was USD 2.5 billion in 2005 and is expected to reach USD 4 billion by 2010. According to Ildikó Kovács, marketing director of ADT Fire&Security Kft., security systems should not only help in identifying thieves but also in preventing theft. Money spent of acquiring Electronic Article Surveillance systems is returned within short periods of time. Integrated security solutions like Sensormatic SmartEAS, which includes an article surveillance system, an alarm-control system and an admission system, which allows a real-time monitoring system to developed, are increasingly popular. This system was first tested in Marionnaud stores in France and Spain in 2007 and is currently being introduced in Hungary.

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