In UK, Woolworths Stores Get EAS Systems and Put Sights on Source-Tagging

Oct. 25, 2006
EAS systems expected to be completed by November as company focuses on tagging materials from the manufacturer

Woolworths stores in the UK will all have new electronic article surveillance systems starting this November.

The retailer, which has some 821 stores in the United Kingdom, contracted with TAG Company, a provider of EAS systems, to install EAS systems for all the company's stores in the UK. TAG reported on Wednesday that the project would be completed by Nov. 1.

The systems are no small undertaking. For the project, TAG will have installed some 8,000 sensors and 20,000 EAS elements. The system will have data logging units that will wireless pull the EAS data and handle that data for each store, giving managers information on customer counting and alarm frequency. TAG representatives called the project "the largest ... of its kind in the UK."

In addition to the EAS technology implementation. Woolworths UK is also beginning a major source-tagging project where the RFID tags would be applied by the manufacturer or distributor, before the goods reaches the Woolworths retail business. TAG Company will also be handling that roll-out of the source-tagging project.

"We are well underway with the next phase of the program, which is the incorporation of security protection directly into Woolworths' merchandise at point of supply around the world," said Phil Doyle, managing director of TAG. "Most merchandise within store is now tagged either discreetly, inside packaging, or with a clear 'Security Protected' tag."

The project is part of a 5-year exclusive agreement for service between Wooworths and TAG Company, and the project reflects a notable shift in the world of article tagging as business drivers move from loss prevention and security into the needs of business operations.