Electronic Article Surveillance has been successfully protecting the retail environment from shoplifting since the late 1960s.
But along the way, it has also developed some additional skills beyond just guarding the entrance to a store.
Now EAS is more discreet, more versatile and packed with additional tools to help retailers better manage their operations.
So, let’s investigate three nifty things EAS can do for retail beyond theft prevention at the entrance to the store.
A little EAS history
The origins of EAS can be traced back to 1964 but in the decades since that first tag and antenna were roughly designed, there have been some serious innovations.
The 1970s brought EAS into the mainstream and it’s been improving ever since.
Now over 80 per cent of retailers draw on the power of EAS to protect their merchandise, with the technology offering up to an estimated 80 per cent reduction in external theft.
Over the years, however, EAS has evolved to become far more than just an essential loss prevention tool.
Streamlined and out of sight
Where once EAS was an obvious element of every store it protected, that’s no longer the case. As modern retail evolves to offer a seamless customer experience, EAS has kept pace.
New antenna technology means EAS is now more discreet than ever, with systems able to be hidden at the store entry either in the doorway, underfoot or even overhead.
Known as concealed EAS, the systems are available in both RF and AM frequencies, offering the benefit of a streamlined, welcoming entry, where stores are still protected against theft.
Traffic counting and remote reporting
One of the major challenges for modern retail involves making every customer interaction count. And that’s where analytics is offering a serious advantage for the retailers who opt to embrace its power.
New innovations in EAS allow the antenna to count traffic as people enter and exit the store.
Coupled with advanced analytics about sales, this ensures retailers have a greater insight into trends occurring instore which then enables for better store management, more effective promotions and improved customer service.
Importantly, this data can be accessed remotely, allowing retail management up-to-the-minute insight into what’s happening in-store.
That’s why some of Australia’s biggest brands are utilising EAS to provide insight that goes far beyond theft prevention.
Protecting the fitting room
In years gone by, much of the theft prevention focus centred on the store exit, but EAS manufacturers and retailers quickly identified the change room is one of an apparel retailer’s greatest weakness when it comes to shoplifting.
Out of sight and private, the change room offers shoplifters the opportunity to detach tags and conceal items.
That’s where new innovations like the FittingRoom Guard have become an essential tool in the fight against theft.
Designed specifically to address the issue of change room theft, FittingRoom Guard detects the tools that shoplifters use to detach security tags.
The product sees antennae placed in the fitting room area and the Fitting Room Guard then detects magnetic movement when a shoplifter removes a tag with a detacher.
Staff are alerted to the incident via a pager, or an optional alarm in the fitting room can sound to deter the would-be thief from proceeding with the crime.
Coupled with improved tag security it can potentially see change room theft as a problem of the past.
The bottom line
An essential tool in the war against retail theft, EAS has become far more than a loss prevention strategy. As part of a history that has spanned almost 60 years, EAS has evolved to offer retailers insight, attractive store design and protection far beyond the entrance to the store.
You can learn more about our retail security options here.