Now used by over 80 per cent of US retailers, security tags and labels are considered one of the primary strategies in the ongoing war against theft.
These universally applicable tools are used by large and small retailers alike, across all verticals with the items they protect ranging from electronics to apparel, and pharmaceuticals to groceries.
So why are security labels and tags considered so effective?
A quick EAS 101
In a nutshell, security tags and labels are part of what’s known as Electronic Article Surveillance. The system sees antenna installed at the entryway to a store, which remain in constant communication with security tags and labels, each housing tiny transmitters.
When an active tag or label comes into proximity of the entryway and antenna, an alarm sounds, alerting staff to the possibility of a theft.
Product based security
Unlike CCTV or security personnel who watch over an entire store, security tags and labels are a product-based security measure.
That means they guard individual items against theft. Basically, any item protected by a tag or label will sound an alarm when a shoplifter attempts to remove them from a store.
When properly implemented, electronic article surveillance is highly accurate and highly effective. Statistics indicate security tags and labels can reduce theft by around 80 per cent.
Importantly, this protection still facilitates the customer experience, allowing consumers to touch, try and interact with a product without the product being locked behind glass or impacted by cumbersome theft prevention tools.
Eliminating human error
For many retailers one of the key benefits of EAS is that the system is not prone to human error. Rather than acting on suspicion that a theft may be occurring, it uses technology to identify when a protected item is about to or is currently leaving the store.
In large retail outlets this helps support loss prevention officers tasked with protecting a store, while in smaller outlets it allows staff to get on with their job serving the customer in the knowledge they will be alerted should a theft be attempted.
When the antenna is switched on and tags or labels are fitted, the EAS system is at work. That means a store is safeguarded during all opening hours, no matter how busy it is or how many staff are on duty.
Easy to implement
One of the key attributes of electronic article surveillance is that it’s easy to implement and readily scalable.
Installation of EAS involves the fitting of antenna at the entryway. And as technology improves there are more and more ways of installing these systems. They can be as simple as a single or multiple pedestal antenna, or they can be concealed in door frames, under the entryway and even overhead.
After installation, additional stock is then protected by additional compatible tags and labels.
Hard to thwart
The technology and mechanics at the heart of EAS continues to evolve. Mechanisms that secure the tags and labels to stock are now stronger than ever.
In the case of tags, the magnetic strength used to secure a tag pinhead into the hard tag is now harder than ever before to thwart with strengths ranging from standard to super, then hyper and multi-polar.
Labels now boast super strong adhesives, come in a range of sizes and can even be concealed in packaging, making them increasingly hard for thieves to remove.
Simple to use
Possibly the biggest attribute of EAS and tags and labels is that the system is incredibly easy for staff to use. Tags are quickly affixed before stock hits the floor, and labels can even be applied at the point of manufacture, with barcodes included.
Once affixed, these tags and labels are consistently monitored by the antenna, ensuring every protected item is constantly under surveillance no matter where they are within the retail environment.