ADT Security Services Inc., a unit of Tyco Fire & Security and the leading provider of anti-theft systems, said more than 4 billion products were source tagged with the company's Sensormatic-brand anti-theft labels last year, a new company record. Source tagging is the process of applying anti-theft tags to goods at the point of manufacture.
Rex Gillette, vice president of ADT's Retail National Account Division, said source tagging remains a popular loss prevention tool more than 15 years after its debut and has seen unprecedented growth in recent years.
"Less than five years ago, the number of products source tagged by the company was just over 1 billion," Gillette said. "The widespread acceptance of electronic article surveillance technology to combat shoplifting, plus advances that make it possible to tag a wider range of goods, including metals and liquid products, has really fueled this growth."
According to the 2002 National Retail Security Survey conducted by the University of Florida, shoplifting was responsible for nearly $10 billion in losses to retailers in the United States alone. Combined losses from shoplifting and employee theft account for the largest source of property crime committed annually in the United States.
Gillette said retailers who adopt source tagging programs decrease inventory losses while recognizing quicker return on investments due to decreased labor costs. By applying anti-theft tags during the manufacturing process, products arrive at retail outlets with greater consistency in tagging. This helps speed the time it takes to get products on the sales floor and helps lower store labor costs, while providing retailers with the best possible protection against shoplifting.
"Retailers that take advantage of security technologies generally have overall lower inventory losses than those stores that do not," Gillette said. "Source tagging is an important piece of the anti-shoplifting effort that helps free store employees to sell merchandise, rather than patrol the aisles."