EAS security tags are a hugely effective way of guarding individual products in a retail outlet against theft. But that doesn’t stop shoplifters trying to get around and remove them using all sorts of creative techniques.
The upshot is retailers need to remain vigilant when it comes to ensuring their tags are up to par and can withstand even the most devious thieves.
So, here are seven ways to boost your tag security in store.
Go for strength
Security tags are available in a series of magnetic strengths ranging from standard to superlock and then the enhanced strengths of hyperlock and multi-polar.
When it comes to combatting illicit removal, the higher the strength the better. Many retail outlets still rely on standard strength tags, but as a minimum we recommend superlock.
Superlock tags can only be removed by high-strength magnetic detachers, which are harder to find on the black market than the types which open standard tags.
Increase the pin size
Tags are secured to merchandise using a pin, and the pin heads available also come in a series of sizes. Larger pin heads are harder for a thief to push through a product without causing significant damage to the item they’re looking to steal, so these offer increased security.
Consider benefit denial
Large pinheads are considered a benefit denial strategy, meaning the thief has to damage the product by cutting or ripping it in order to steal the item.
And there are also further benefit denial strategies available to curb a shoplifter’s enthusiasm for tampering with a tag. These include ink-dye pinheads, which release indelible ink into a product when a tag is tampered with, thereby rendering it valueless to the thief.
Consider the tag shape
Just as pinhead size makes a difference to the security of a tag, so does the tag shape.
This relates to the surface area that thieves can get a purchase on when trying to prize the tag apart from the pinhead. For increased security look for round tags with pinheads that correspond in size. Known as clamshell tags, these offer few areas for a thief to access.
Alternatively, alligator tags have a simple feature where the tag and pinhead are all housed in the one hinged body that claps and locks shut. These are also harder to prize apart.
Secure your detachers
They might seem innocuous, but magnetic tag detachers are highly sought after by thieves,
Ensure your tag detachers are secured to the benchtop at the point of sale. Some tag detachers even come with a registered serial number making them extra secure and traceable.
Train staff in EAS
EAS false alarms can soon make your staff complacent about shoplifting, so ensure they are trained in the daily checks required to ensure the system is working properly.
This also includes educating them about tag pollution – a phenomenon which sees an alarm sound when a tag which has not been detached by another retailer enters your store.
Most EAS systems will light up in a different colour when a tag is entering rather than leaving a store, so train your staff to recognize this issue.
Guard your fitting room
Out of sight and private, fitting rooms provide an ideal venue for thieves to attempt tag removal, or to conceal items in booster bags.
In addition to having staff man the fitting room, consider high-tech options like the Apparel Guard which sound an alarm when a tag is being tampered with or concealed.
The final word
Combatting shoplifting is an ongoing fight where retailers consistently need to up their game to thwart attempts at theft.
That means staying vigilant and employing the best and latest methods available to boost the effectiveness of EAS.