Editorial: Help is on the Way

July 12, 2013
Retailers step up security

This article originally appeared in the July 2013 issue of SD&I magazine.

The news isn’t good: study after study confirms that organized retail crime, shoplifting and employee theft continues to hit hard at the slim margins of the retail vertical market. One of the latest studies, the “25th Annual Retail Theft Survey,” by Jack L. Hayes International released last month, confirms the continued rise in outside and employee theft.

The survey featured 23 of the country’s largest retail companies with 18,900 stores and more than $596 billion in 2012 retail sales. These 23 major retailers alone apprehended more than 1.1 million shoplifters and dishonest employees and recovered in excess of $189 million from these thieves in 2012, according to the survey, which is an 18 percent increase in recovered dollars over last year.

You can find more information on this study at www.securityinfowatch.com/10964917 as well as ongoing, in-depth coverage of the retail vertical market at www.securityinfowatch.com/markets/retail and also inside this issue with our special focus coverage starting on page 18.

Temper the bad news with the latest technology and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The retail industry has taken a strong, hard look at its losses, and is doing something about it, with the assistance of not only technology, but also skilled systems integrators. And the results will be good, if they can effectively leverage systems in a proactive manner—you can help them do that. In this issue, we have the stories that tell you what’s happening in the retail sector, what’s being done to curb losses and how technology is really stepping to the plate with integrated platforms that include access control, intrusion detection and of course, video technology and analytics.

Retailers move increasingly to IP

The star of the show is, of course, IP video and all it brings to the protected premises, beyond merely surveillance and security. Today, nearly 65 percent of stores have some form of IP-connected surveillance system, according to “CCTV in Retail 2012,” a research report commissioned by Axis Communications. That’s more than double those who reported networked video in the previous study. For those who don’t currently deploy it, they indicate plans to migrate to IP video in the near future.    

IP networked systems provide tangible business tools, analytics and other intelligence retailers can use to find out not only when/where and by whom losses are occurring, but also, the systems enable them to gather marketing information that can be used to improve their customer’s in-store experiences and targeted merchandise and customer service. For example, video is being integrated increasingly with Point-of-Sale terminals to provide notice of exceptions, associated with camera views and time/date stamps so retailers know which employees are discounting merchandise, pilfering product, or doing buddies a favor by offering “five finger discounts” and more. It also can be used to find out dwell times or where customers are staying the longest at display aisles, or simply, when more cashiers are needed.

With a networked system, or an analog system configured with encoders, retailers can start small and migrate to full-blown IP as their budgets allow. Find out how you can leverage surveillance, incorporate POS, deploy wireless and offer proactive tools to SMBs and other retailers to become the total solutions provider they need to gain back control of their stores—just turn to page 18.

The retail market is ready to listen to what you have to say and how you can help them and there’s no better time to start than today.