Lowe's Gets Smart with EAS

Beware, shoplifters! And pay attention, cashiers and LP staff! National home improvement retailer Lowe's is getting an EAS system upgrade in all of its stores.

The North Carolina-based retail chain has selected the SmartEAS Alarm Management Solution from ADT Security Services, adding onto an existing EAS (electronic article surveillance) alarm system. The Smart EAS solution, according to ADT, links alarms with specific data such as date, time, location and system status and is able to provide further intelligence into what the EAS alarms mean.

The loss prevention reporting tool, which can be reached inside the store or from a remote location, will allow Lowe's vice president of Loss Prevention Claude Verville, to move from an alarms-per-hour study to an alarms-per-transaction study. According to Vauderville, the "per hour" number didn't allow for particularly good store comparisons, since busier stores may see more alarms than smaller, less trafficked stores.

Vauderville says the data will be able to help the company's LP department focus on training for cashiers to make sure tags are deactivated. The central reporting system, a part of ADT's Sensormatic line, can be linked to not only the EAS scanners, but also to deactivation tools, POS systems and the retailers' handheld scanners.

With last year's sales topping $40 billion, and with 11 million customers a week and 1,200-plus stores, it's no surprise that Lowe's wanted more data to improve the LP department's effectiveness.