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Determining deterrence by studying shrinkage.

Electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags are a proven deterrent, but are they the best choice for high-theft, hard-to-label merchandise, such as tools? The Home Center Institute is sponsoring a nationwide study to find out how well source labeling--the process of placing EAS tags on merchandise during packaging of manufacturing--deters shoplifting from home centers.

The study, which is being conducted by the Farnsworth Group of Indianapolis, IN, an independent, research-based consulting firm, has several objectives. The study will measure the effectiveness of EAS tagging and source labeling; compare the deterring power of visible EAS tags with tags not readily apparent to the consumer; and compare tagging of high-theft merchandise with other methods of control, such as locked display cases.

Sensormatic Electronics Corporation was selected for the test study because the company's antishoplifting systems are widely used in home centers and hardware stores. Its adhesive Ultra-Max labels can be easily attached to a product or its package, and the small Ultra-Max ClutchRattler tags can be attached to oddly shaped merchandise.

Sensormatic's system also provides both visual and audio feedback when the label has been deactivated. This safeguards against a customer setting off an alarm accidently when he or she leaves a store with a live label attached to merchandise that has been paid for.

Sensormatic is confident that the study will prove how effective the tags are on merchandise and that source labeling is worthwhile to both retailers and manufacturers. "As home center retailers recognize the increased sales from openly displayed, EAS-protected products, manufacturers whose products are protected with EAS labels will have a real advantage over competitors whose products are not EAS-protected," said George E. Cunette, market development manager for Sensormatic.

During the first two months of the study, inventory and sales of the products were monitored to determine the level of shrinkage. In the third and fourth months, Sensormatic's antishoplifting tags were placed on the test merchandise at the point of manufacture. Shrinkage levels will be compared at the conclusion of the study to measure the effect of EAS tags on deterring shoplifting.

The test study is being conducted at 24 leading home centers this year. Participating retailers include Builder's Square, Lowe's, Ernst Home Centers, Pay N' Pak Home Centers, and The Home Depot.

Test markets are Seattle and Kent, WA; San Antonio TX; North Wilksboro, NC; and Lauderdale Lakes, FL.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society for Industrial Security
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Security Spotlight; Home center Institute's study on how well electronic article surveillance tags guard against shoplifting
Publication:Security Management
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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