Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS): What It Is and How It Works
Electronic article surveillance (EAS) is a type of system used to prevent shoplifting. If you've ever been to a store and heard an alarm when somebody was exiting you've seen the EAS system in action. The system is designed to detect unpaid items in people's pockets or bags as they are leaving the store. It typically consists of two components: the EAS antennas and EAS tags or labels.
RFID in Retail: What It is and How It is Used
The acronym RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. It’s a type of technology that has a similar function as a barcode: it is used to identify objects (or animals, or people). Whereas a barcode is printed on a sticker or product packaging that can be scanned using an optical scanner, RFID uses what’s called an inlay inside a label or plastic tag, and is “scanned” (actually read) by a reader that uses radio waves. RFID labels may look exactly like barcode labels or price stickers.
How Shoplifting Works and How to Prevent It
Retail loss (called shrink or shrinkage by the industry) is usually associated with shoplifting. True, shoplifting is a major contributing factor: A 2018 study by the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that it is responsible for 36.5% of the total loss. The remaining 63.5% come from other sources, like employee theft, administrative errors and vendor fraud.
How Employee Theft Works and How to Prevent It
While external theft like shoplifting is often the focus of theft prevention, it’s not the only source of retail theft. A shoplifter can only work while the store is open, but an employee can steal before the store opens and after it closes. Internal shrink, or employee theft, is another major part of retail loss. A study from the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that employee theft made up 33.2 percent of inventory shrinkage in 2018. Internal shrink happens when employees steal or misappropriate money from the company. In my experience, employees’ knowledge of the organization gives them more opportunities to cause loss. For example, rather than taking merchandise from the store floor, an employee can steal from stock rooms that have less visibility and supervision. Employee theft has more consistent high-loss cases than external shrink. The highest employee theft case I’ve worked had over $2.5 million in losses. In this case, a group of employees was working with external thieves to create a highly efficient collaboration using both internal resources and the expertise of organized retail crime (ORC).
How Administrative Error Shrink Occurs and How to Prevent It
Not all retail loss comes from theft. In fact, administrative error can cause significant inventory losses for your business. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), administrative and paperwork errors are responsible for up to 18.8 percent of retail shrink. Unlike shoplifting, organized retail crime (ORC) or employee theft, I see administrative error shrink as completely within the retailer’s control. By following a strict inventory control process and consistently training your employees, you can prevent administrative error from affecting your bottom line.
How to Upgrade Your Security Without Spending a Fortune
Keeping costs down is a major concern for every security team. Luckily, with recent technology developments, you don’t need to replace your entire security system to improve it. In fact, integrating smaller technology add-ons is a more effective way to boost your security, while controlling the costs.
The Fundamentals of Integrated Security
What if your security strategy is no longer enough? Security is evolving every day. What worked three years ago still works today, but there’s a way to do it better, smarter, and for less money. By traditional security, I’m referring to how we tend to segregate our physical security into programs like manned guarding, alarms, cameras, access control and cybersecurity. The traditional approach looks at these components separately, rather than holistically. I think that’s getting outdated.