Combatting mobile phone gangs

Combatting Mobile Phone Gangs

A recent news story on A Current Affair highlights the increasing challenges mobile phone retailers face when it comes to protecting their staff, their customers and their products in the face of targeted mobile device theft.

Aired on April 15, the story showed CCTV footage from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne telco stores where gangs of youths brazenly walked in and ripped mobile phones from displays.

The incidents occurred in broad daylight and in some cases saw staff and customers caught up in the frightening attacks. Meanwhile, A Current Affair noted seven of these incidents had been recorded in the past month alone.

“It’s the worst I’ve seen in 14 years,” one telco employee told the program. “They’re coming in, they’re ripping benches off, they’re ripping phones off, the customers are getting involved, trying to stop people and these gangs don’t care.”

So, what should retailers do?

State of the art security

A Current Affair noted many retailers were now opting to remove high-value items from display in a bid to reduce temptation for thieves.

But Vitag managing director Greg Raubenheimer explained there were other avenues available to store management, such as cutting-edge secure display systems like OnePOD.

Designed specifically for the mobile phone sector, these new displays offer increased security features including stands made from steel, thicker clamps, and high-security alarms.

When coupled with additional security measures like bolting down display tables, they work to offer a visible deterrent to thieves, while being strong enough to prevent a snatch and grab attempt.

Customer experience versus theft prevention

Mr Raubenheimer acknowledged high-value devices like mobile phones presented a unique challenge to retailers. On the one hand they were sought after by shoplifters, but on the other genuine customers needed to experience the product prior to purchase.

“We are also hearing phone retailers are being targeted more often by both individual shoplifters and gangs of thieves, however removing items from display all together can impact a retailer’s bottom line in terms of sales,” he said.

“High-end mobile phones are products that the consumer needs to touch, feel and experience prior to making a purchasing decision. Remove them from display and you impact the customer experience and start to see a drop-in sales.

“Meanwhile, in the omnichannel environment reducing the customer experience in a retail outlet sees bricks and mortar retailers lose their distinct physical advantage.”

Introducing OnePOD

Combatting Mobile Phone Gangs

Developed by InVue, OnePOD allows the consumer to engage with high-value items like tablets and mobile phones while also guarding them against theft.

The system offers increased security features like steel clamps, steel stands and steel reinforced cables, along with a seamless design.

OnePOD also features security alarms and comes with a range of options to suit various sized devices and accessories. It offers single smart key access across the range, allowing merchandise to be quickly locked down or restocked.

Importantly, OnePOD is purpose designed to embrace both the customer experience and theft protection, and allows retailers to offer a uniform, inobtrusive look across their range.

Vitag’s top mobile phone security tips

  • Implement cutting-edge ultra-secure displays to showcase mobile phones
  • Bolt display tables into position to offer additional security
  • Employ CCTV storewide to monitor the outlet
  • Provide staff with training in recognising and approaching shoplifters
  • Secure additional stock in lockable cabinets
  • Position displays away from the entry to the store

You can learn more about OnePOD here.