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How RFID Tags Prepare Retailers for the Spike in Shoplifting

May 31, 2021

As more people become vaccinated, and the numbers of businesses opening their doors continue to increase, we get the sense we are starting to “return to normal”. However, retailers are faced with a familiar challenge that has recently spiked in occurrence: shoplifting.

According to ‘The Washington Post’ and ‘Forbes’ shoplifting is at a record high that hasn’t been seen in decades. With 1 in 20 Americans being on some form of unemployment assistance or programs for low-income families and individuals, theft has gone up to frightening levels as people resort to theft. According to Fabien Tiburce, CEO of Compliant IA, “there is a well-known historical correlation between unemployment and theft”. And given the large masses who lost their jobs due to COVID, the rise in shoplifting only makes sense and shows no signs of slowing, despite the fact that more people are getting vaccinated and businesses are starting to re-open. For example, Philadelphia is a leading city that took some initiative into providing safe working spaces during the pandemic, yet the city’s retail theft reports indicated a 60% increase in theft.

Clearly, retailers have a major challenge to deal with now, and in the year to come, which is why savvy brands invest in companies that manufacture RFID tags for retail shops to help improve loss prevention and detour would-be shoplifters while catching others in the act.

Find the Right RFID Security Solutions to Prevent Shoplifting

When it comes to radio frequency identification solutions, tags and labels are one of the most preferred and effective ways to prevent retail theft. RFID tag companies like CONTROLTEK design a wide range of security tags for a broad range of products. Of course, the security tags are just one part of the RFID solution. There is an RFID reader built into the exits and entrances of the store that triggers the anti-theft devices when product is illegally leaving the store. The RFID tags then send a signal to the reader sounding either a silent or audible alarm notifying employees and security of the shoplifting attempt. When researching RFID tags and readers, you will want a solution that transmits quickly, and one that works with a wide variety of tags.

Choose the Right RFID Tags for Your Products

store anti-theft system signalisation alarm

Not all RFID tags are as productive as others when it comes to protecting specific types of merchandise. For example, using a large ink-filled tag works well at detouring shoplifters and is best suited for heavier apparel like athleticwear,  overcoats, and shoes but would not be ideal for small items like bracelets. CONTROLTEK is an industry leader in ink-based RFID tags with its INKGUARD, which is light-weight and easy to install.

The INKGUARD, as a solution for finding the best RFID tags, is an ideal cost-cutting solution for preventing shoplifting. When someone is apprehended in a retail space for a shoplifting attempt, a great deal of risk for physical injury is presented. Several insurance providers will look at such encounters when renewing or issuing policies, so when an RFID tag performs as a visual deterrent, the number of physical encounters will drop significantly. This means retailers will be more likely to get better insurance rates, and manpower can be used in a more productive, growth-orientated way versus chasing down and confronting shoplifters.

Choosing the right RFID tags for specific products is simple when retailers partner with CONTROLTEK. When it comes to boxed merchandise, the BOXER RFID tag is ideal due to its locking options, flashing light that works well as a visual deterrent, and its advanced design created strictly for boxed goods. For smaller high-end items such as expensive lingerie, glasses, hats, footwear or belts, the SLIMGUARD is ideal as it can be used with a lanyard or pin system, is small, and extremely durable.

Other Features to Look for in Retail RFID Tags

Clothes in the store with EAS anti-theft tags

Make sure the RFID tags you invest in can be turned to multiple and the right frequencies for the country they will be deployed in. The RFID system will not work if the tags and reader are not on the same frequency. For example, if the 903-927 MHz is what you are transmitting on and attempts to read RFID tags tuned in to the 863-569 band, the tags won’t respond. Make sure your RFID system meets the operating region regulations for your tags and reader.

Another important feature to look for in RFID tags is the retail environment. If your products aren’t going to be displayed in a typical temperature-controlled retail space, then you will want to make sure they are rated to perform in your setting. For example, an outdoor retail setting in Miami right on the beach would require RFID tags that can perform against heat, and wind-blown sand. If you have a retail store that sells ski equipment in Colorado and some products are used in demo locations in an outdoor space, then your RFID tags would need to be highly durable and perform in cold conditions with moisture.

These RFID tags allow retailers to demo products in outdoor spaces, and extend retail spaces into the natural outdoor environment with critical protection from shoplifting.

Another feature to look for in RFID tags to prevent theft is the attachment method. The construction material and shape of the RFID tag are important components to consider when choosing the best RFID attachment method. Some tags will need to be adhered with screws while others use an epoxy or all-purpose adhesives. Then there are others that work with a quick lock system. Metal pallets will likely require RFID tags that utilize screws while products that are shrink wrapped or stored in a box will likely require an adhesive solution. Make sure to review the RFID tag’s data sheet when making the best selection for your products.

To learn more about CONTROLTEK’s RFID tags, call 888-808-6970 today.