Keep calm ’cause Christmas is coming….
Now that the summer holidays are over and autumn has arrived, shops are gearing up for Halloween and Christmas (I’ve already spied festive wrapping paper adorning shelves). Although we as consumers give a muted groan when Christmas gets a mention, in the retail industry the Christmas season has been organised, January sales sorted and spring has arrived.
But in the Christmas rush, store colleagues need to be available to assist customers, so it is therefore vital that retailers take steps to protect themselves against the increased cases of theft, without the inconvenience of false alarms.
False alarms are not only frustrating and embarrassing for consumers, but also waste valuable employee time. For retailers to protect consumers and employees from possible inconvenience, every alarm must be treated as if it is real.
Test your EAS antennas
Store employees should first ensure all antennas and security equipment are working correctly. These tests should ideally be carried out each day before the store opens.
Check your deactivation systems
One of the most frequent causes of deactivation failures for retailers often occurs because the unit is not plugged in correctly, or because it’s been unplugged accidently. Store employees need to make sure that all deactivation systems are plugged in and working correctly. Modern deactivation systems are designed to integrate seamlessly into point of sale procedures, ensuring the effortless deactivation of security tags – when plugged in and fully operational.
Watch out for tag pollution
Tag pollution from other stores does happen. This occurs when non-deactivated tags from other stores are carried out by consumers causing unwanted alarms. As a result, these alarms decrease the effectiveness and integrity of installed EAS systems. Ensure your employees are correctly trained as per your head office policies on tag pollution.
Be aware of metallic articles
Tagged and/or metallic articles found in the vicinity of the EAS system, such as holiday decorations and displays, can cause interference. Taking more time to consider the layout and positioning of certain types of merchandise can also reduce the frequency of false alarms.
Ensure tag application is correct
An EAS label or hard tag not applied in the right place could pose problems for retailers during deactivation. For example, EAS labels should be positioned close to the barcode so employees do not need to scan the merchandise twice. By ensuring all products are universally tagged and the position of security labels is uniform, retailers can enjoy reduced false alarms.
In addition, by streamlining product tagging (or tagging products at the point of manufacture – source tagging) and integrating deactivation at the checkout or when a scanner is used at the Point of Sale (POS), retailers can prevent false alarms and keep merchandise protected without placing a significant burden on store employees.
The effectiveness of any EAS system is largely based on how colleagues interface with it. Training for new staff and refresher sessions with existing members of the team will help keep false alarms to a minimum.
Keep a log of alarms
Keeping a log of all alarm activations will help to keep track of false alarms too and help to identify whether they are caused by a staff member or a system error.