Posts

How‌ ‌Do‌ ‌EAS‌ ‌Tags‌ ‌Work?‌

Electronic article surveillance, or EAS, is a type of technology that prevents shoplifting. EAS is most often used in anti-theft systems in retail stores but can also be found in libraries and office buildings. EAS usually involves three components:

  • At least one electronic antenna
  • A deactivator or detacher
  • An electronic tag

The antenna is typically found in EAS system pedestals installed at a store’s entrances. Today, EAS tags are available in many shapes, sizes and application options so you can protect all kinds of merchandise, from clothing, accessories, liquor and even eyewear. EAS tags are available in both acousto-magnetic (AM) and radio-frequency (RF) systems.

How EAS Tags Work

EAS tags come in a variety of attachment options, with a pin tag being the most common for soft products like apparel. Once an EAS tag is attached to an item and activated, the transmitter inside the tag is in constant communication with the EAS system installed in the store. If an EAS tag has not been properly deactivated by a store associate, it will trigger an alarm when passing through the EAS pedestals.

Many EAS tags also have visual deterrence features, such as exploding ink to damage a garment, or benefit denial features, like a cap that prevents people from opening a bottle of liquor in store.

Protect Your Merchandise with CONTROLTEK EAS Tags

Our high-performance EAS tags can help you protect a variety of products in flexible and unobtrusive ways. Our tags are compatible with both RF and AM systems and offer multiple alarm options to meet your retail asset protection needs.

How to Prepare Your Retail Store for Black Friday

Black Friday is just around the corner, which means it’s time for retailers to prepare their stores for a higher volume of customers — and a greater risk of theft. Customer shoplifting is the number one source of shrink for retailers, but there are many ways you can fight shrink during the holiday season.

Train Your Employees

Store employees who provide excellent customer service is one of the simplest ways to deter theft, and it already aligns with your goals as a retailer. Here are more ways your employees can help you reduce shrink:

Spot counterfeit money. When employees learn how to spot fake money, they can help reduce the chances of a business suffering a loss of thousands of dollars. Counterfeit money pens and detectors are an easy way to help store associates spot counterfeit money. There are also a few ways to visually detect counterfeit money, such as checking a bill for color-shifting ink or an authentic watermark, which an employee can quickly and easily perform at checkout.

Actively manage store inventory. If there’s ever a time that a certain item in your store is going to sell out quickly, it’s during Black Friday. With a higher volume of customers and sales, it can be easy for employees to become overwhelmed and fall behind on inventory management. Implementing an inventory management system can help by making it easy for your employees to scan and view inventory anywhere in store, even from your point-of-sale system.

Protect Your Merchandise

Another line of defense against shoplifting is protecting your products from theft. EAS tags and labels come in a variety of form factors and technologies so you can apply them to nearly any kind of product. They can even be integrated with your inventory management system if you use RFID technology.

With so many customers entering your store, your first step should be to deter theft wherever possible. An ink tag, such as the InkGuard, provides both visual deterrence and benefit denial without requiring you to install an EAS system in your store, making it the perfect tag for small businesses. The tag can only be safely removed using a powerful magnetic detacher at checkout. Otherwise, when the tag is improperly removed, the ink will explode and damage the item, which discourages shoplifters from stealing. This type of tag is ideal for protecting denim, apparel and designer wear.

Boxed gift sets and electronics are incredibly popular during the holiday season, but they often cannot be protected with the typical EAS pin tag. A tag specifically designed for boxed merchandise, such as our SurfaceTag, can protect your products without interfering with the customer experience. The SurfaceTag is an excellent alternative to other cable-based tags designed for boxed merchandise, which can often be time consuming to remove and annoying to the customer.

How CONTROLTEK Can Help You Prepare

Supplying state-of-the-art EAS and RFID tags. CONTROLTEK’s wide range of EAS and RFID tags and labels offer many options to protect almost any product you can think of. Our tags are compatible with both RF and AM systems, and many can be converted to RFID technology as well.

Installing EAS and RFID systems on time and correctly the very first time. Our First Time Right™ promise has resulted in over 97 percent of EAS and RFID system installations being fully completed on the first visit, one of the highest rates in the loss prevention industry. We document every single installation, and to be rated as First Time Right™ each one must be signed off by our customer.

Providing tamper-evident retail deposit bags. More customers during the holidays means an increase in cash flow. CONTROLTEK’s industry-leading cash deposit bags for retailers have tamper-evident security features and easy-to-use seals to speed up the cash deposit process for your employees.

CONTROLTEK has solutions for every retailer who wants to boost their store’s security in time for the holiday season. Contact us to start fighting shrink today!

What is an EAS System?

What is an EAS System?

Electronic article surveillance, or EAS, is a type of technology that prevents shoplifting. EAS is most often used in retail stores but can also be found in libraries and office buildings. EAS usually involves three components:

  • At least one electronic antenna
  • A deactivator or detacher
  • An electronic tag

How an EAS System Works

The process is quite simple. First, an EAS tag or label must be attached to an item, and EAS antennae are installed at the store’s entry and exit points. When a customer purchases an item, a store employee removes the tag or deactivates the label with an EAS tag remover. After the tag has been removed or the label is deactivated, the customer can then leave the store without alarm the antennae. If a tag or label is still active when passing through the antennae, the EAS system will sound an EAS alert to alert the staff.

Today, EAS tags come in a wide range of form factors. The most common forms are a pin that goes through the item, a label attached to the item’s tags and a loop attached to the item. The electronic antennae, sometimes referred to as pedestals, make up the EAS system that detects active tags.

What is Source Tagging?

Source tagging is the process of applying an EAS tag or label to a product’s packaging or to the product itself at the point of manufacture or packaging, rather than in store by retail employees. This process leaders to greater retail chain efficiencies, increased sales, lower shrink and higher profitability.

By having product vendors, manufacturers and product packaging companies attach EAS tags and labels to products and packaging ahead of time, retailers can eliminate the high cost and inefficiency of in-store tagging, and the process of moving products to the sales floor is much faster.

EAS made EASy

No one can argue we’re in a time when technology seems to be moving faster than we can keep up with it.  That may be why EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) technology seems to be elusive and confusing when it comes to its evolution and modern capabilities. Well…it isn’t and doesn’t have to be. This article will attempt to break down very succinctly the evolution of EAS without too much “geek speak,” and will give the LP professional a quick, useful explanation of how this technology has advanced in an effort to support retail’s ever-changing needs.

If you’re a person who finds the need to be lost in a wonderland of amorphous metals and magnetic saturation values, STOP READING NOW, this ain’t for you!

In The Beginning

The history of EAS began in the ‘60s.  Three influential pioneers recognized the need for this type of technology. They were Arthur J. Minasy, Ronald G. Assaf, and Albert E. “Ted” Wolf.  The technology was needed, but not only in the retail space.  Wolf was originally developing and utilizing EAS technology for protection of books in libraries.  However, due to the expanding retail market and the foothold both Minasy and Assaf were gaining there, he quickly followed suit.  By the early to mid ‘70s, the three were in a proverbial foot race to conquer markets and make fortunes. A lot happened over the next 20-30 years regarding company spin-offs, legal battles, technology shifts & development, and EAS’ overall use.  The technology was found very useful, but its application needed tweaking multiple times on many fronts to meet the needs of retail.  This challenge, coupled with competition and pressure to have the best technology, got quite precarious to say the least.

Amorphous Metals & Magnetic Saturation Values

Alright, this is it! This will be all you get when it comes to “geek speak.” Presently, there are essentially four technologies or systems utilized in the EAS world.  These systems are RF (Radio-frequency) Systems, AM (Acousto-Magnetic) Systems, EM (Electro-Magnetic) Systems and Microwave Systems.  There are combo systems such as RFID (Radio-frequency identification) whereby the tags hold information and the radio frequency tracks the individual tags.  Each technology utilizes electro-magnetic energy and therefore, the signals can interfere with other electronic devices. While all utilize electro-magnetic energy, that is pretty much where the similarities end.  Over the course of time, each technology has been employed in various applications. Even the designs of EAS tags have changed as various learnings occurred.  With that said, each technology has both demonstrated value and some challenges.  Store layouts, types of merchandise, customer service, and different business models play significant roles in the technology employed.  Each technology should be researched, and advice from industry professionals should be sought in order to ensure all needs will be met with whichever technology is chosen.

Source-Tagging: The Final Link

Technology to the side, there has been other critical “tipping points” for EAS in its history.  The most important has been the drive for “source-tagging”.  This is applying the EAS device at the manufacturer or at the retailer’s own distribution center rather than at the store.  If you’ve been in retail for any length of time you know that for every breath a store employee takes, there is an equation for how that breath impacts the labor budget for that store.  Early EAS users were applying tags in merchandise receiving rooms, but operators quickly realized this was a labor drain that detracted from a sales floor presence and customer service.

In the early ‘90’s source-tagging began taking off, but not without its own challenges.  EAS manufacturers were developing their latest and greatest systems while also attempting to rollout source-tagging.   Among the many challenges, applying EAS tags to merchandise had to be precise, and bulky deactivation devices used for removing the tags at the POS affected customer wait times and overall shopping experiences. However, the EAS suppliers who slowed down, embraced these challenges, and developed a strong R&D function that involved retailers at the onset, were the ones that have realized longevity in the industry and have proven they are “partners” in reducing shrink and increasing bottom line profits.

CONTROLTEK is one of those partners. In fact, CONTROLTEK has not only developed ControlSpan™, an inventory tracking system that utilizes affordable RFID technology within the EAS system, but can handle all source-tagging needs as well. Visit Controltekusa.com to review their products in the EAS arena and see how they can partner with you to meet your EAS needs.

About CONTROLTEK

Since 1976, we have been delivering unique products and solutions to the cash-transfer and asset protection industries to address specific business challenges.  Our company has grown steadily based on the quality of our products and the quality of our service. Our commitment to research and development is combined with a willingness to listen to the people who everyday depend on our products. By relentlessly researching and introducing new materials and new features, we are proud to say we have impacted the way assets are secured globally.

With experience gained through research and collaboration within the financial and retail sectors, we actively charted a course over the past several years to bring added value, new thinking and viable approaches, addressing the dilemmas and challenges that frustrate business professionals today.

During this process, we realigned our resources within CONTROLTEK, creating three silos (ISS, ISP and IVS).  This enables us to focus more specifically on the needs of our Clients and their specific challenges they face on a daily basis.  Additionally, CONTROLTEK has aligned itself with Global partners to provide holistic solutions that solve today’s challenges.   Whatever the application, CONTROLTEK resources stand by ready to deliver results that enable commerce and effectively secure assets at financial institutions and leading retailers across the globe.

Top 3 Retail Asset Protection Solutions

Theft by shoplifters and employees has been on the rise for the past four years, according to the 27th Annual Retail Theft Survey from Jack L. Hayes International.

Last year, more than 1.2 million individuals were nabbed for theft by the 25 retailers participating in the survey, helping stores to recover over $225 million in stolen assets.

Overall, one in every 38 employees were detained for stealing. This is a 7.1 percent increase from the number of employees apprehended by retailers in 2013. Shoplifter apprehensions increased by 7.4% over the prior year, according to the survey.

As the survey shows, theft is a very real threat that today’s retailers must deal with. Thankfully, there are solutions available to help deter thieves and prevent merchandise from walking out the door.

Review the top three security solutions retailers can implement within their stores quickly to help stop shoplifting:

EAS Tags Reinvented

EAS tags have become a favorite security solution for the retail industry, and it’s easy to see why. These intelligent systems ensure that all items are monitored and that shoplifters cannot simply walk out the door with stolen products.

Today’s EAS tags are even more advanced, and can help make sure that shoplifting doesn’t go unnoticed, no matter the circumstances. CONTROLTEK’s new Ink Tags are a unique way to prevent theft. These tags house small ink capsules that break if an attempt is made to remove them. When tampered with, the ink will permanently stain the item and render it useless to the shoplifter.

Affordable RFID Readers

On occasion, thieves will rearrange merchandise to make it easier to steal. This could involve taking a high-price item from a display and camouflaging it with other, lower-cost products. However, with affordable technology like RFID readers on the retailer’s side, the store can always keep track of their merchandise. CONTROLTEK offers state-of-the-art handheld readers, including the which can easily be connected to Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices.

Intelligent Security Packaging

Merchandise isn’t the only retail asset that needs protecting. The store’s daily revenue should also be put under lock and key – not only while at the store, but during transport to the store’s financial institution.

There are more than a few options for retailers when it comes to Intelligent Security Packaging, enabling them to select a combination of solutions that will best suit their needs. These include deposit bags, coin bags, security seals, and cash vault shipping bags. Best of all, CONTROLTEK also offers top-notch consulting services to help store owners identify their unique requirements and find the ISP solution that will provide the highest level of protection.

To find out more, contact CONTROLTEK today.

About CONTROLTEK

Since 1976, we have been delivering unique products and solutions to the cash-transfer and asset protection industries to address specific business challenges. Our company has grown steadily based on the quality of our products and the quality of our service. Our commitment to research and development is combined with a willingness to listen to the people who everyday depend on our products. By relentlessly researching and introducing new materials and new features, we are proud to say we have impacted the way assets are secured globally.

With experience gained through research and collaboration within the financial and retail sectors, we actively charted a course over the past several years to bring added value, new thinking and viable approaches, addressing the dilemmas and challenges that frustrate business professionals today.

During this process, we realigned our resources within CONTROLTEK, creating three silos (ISS, ISP and IVS). This enables us to focus more specifically on the needs of our Clients and their specific challenges they face on a daily basis. Additionally, CONTROLTEK has aligned itself with Global partners to provide holistic solutions that solve today’s challenges.   Whatever the application, CONTROLTEK resources stand by ready to deliver results that enable commerce and effectively secure assets at financial institutions and leading retailers across the globe.

For clothing stores, a guide on which tags to use for which garments

Shoplifting is a practice that is very widespread, and in terms of the types of businesses targeted, few are hit as frequently or significantly as clothing stores.

“One reason clothing retailers get hit by thieves is because fitting rooms offer convenient privacy for the shoplifter.”

There are several reasons why clothing retailers are especially susceptible to shoplifting. The first is the perceived ease of carrying out the crime. You go into a clothing store, see a t-shirt you like and take it into a fitting room. Then, you put your sweater over it and walk out the front door. The thieves who steal clothes via this method are difficult to nab, as Rutgers’ crime prevention site pointed out. Emboldened by their success, they’ll do it again and again, and clothing store shrinkage will reflect the loss that results from this.

Another reason clothing retailers get hit by thieves is because they offer convenient privacy for the shoplifter. When you go to a hardware store, for instance, you typically don’t get a private room to test out the merchandise, but for clothing stores, this is the norm. For the amateur shoplifter – and the vast majority of shoplifters are amateurs – the fitting room provides a sanctuary to strategize how they’ll get away with theft. While in the fitting room, the shoplifter can determine how best to conceal an article of clothing, and decide how to leave the store so as to arouse as little suspicion as possible.

All too often, amateur thieves get the upper hand when it comes to clothing store theft. But that doesn’t have to be the case. When clothing retailers leverage EAS Hard Tags, they add a critical line of defense against shoplifters. But in order for these stores to reap the biggest theft prevention benefits from hard tags, it’s important to pair the right tags with the right garments.

Clothing stores can protect merchandise with well-placed hard tags.Clothing stores can protect merchandise with well-placed hard tags.

Defending against thieves with well-placed tags
For clothing stores, hard tags can make a big difference in terms of garment security. But to maximize the positive impact, loss prevention experts should aim for the best tag/garment compatibility possible. Here are some of our suggestions for how to tag different common items sold at clothing stores:

  • Shoes: Because of their design, shoes don’t seem to lend themselves to tagging as easily as, say, a pair of jeans. But in fact, tagging them is as easy as finding a solution that can fit through shoelace holes and other small openings. The answer to that is Pencil Tags, whose light and small construction enables them to be easily attached to otherwise challenging items like shoes. Bonus: Pencil tags also work great for accessories like handbags.
  • More expensive items (leather jackets, coats): Not all thieves are amateurs. Some are career criminals who aren’t looking to shoplift for the thrill of it or the desire to have a new item, but are instead focused on a singular task: reselling their stolen goods. For these shoplifters, expensive items like leather jackets are often the most lucrative targets, since they offer the greatest potential value when reselling. To protect these items, clothing stores should affix them with exploding ink tags, which deny thieves the benefit of reselling a pricey item by covering that item in ink when a removal of the tag is attempted.
  • Jeans and t-shirts: Items like t-shirts and pants may not be as pricey as, say, that new leather jacket featured in the display window, but for the impulsive amateur shoplifter looking for an easy swipe, they’re an ideal target. Therefore, clothing stores need to be serious about protecting these rudimentary but highly popular garments. That’s where The Falcon tag from CONTROLTEK can offer a lot of help. A product of careful strategizing among RFID engineers, retail workers and manufacturing experts, the Falcon provides industry-leading protection for apparel items. With a sleek design, these tags are great for stores looking to ensure that products are tagged in a way that’s not only safety-boosting, but cost-efficient as well.

Here at CONTROLTEK, we offer clothing stores an industry-leading EAS Hard Tag arsenal that’s equipped to comprehensively defend all merchandise.