Where did the month of December go? Wasn’t it just Black Friday? Now it’s almost the New Year and we are fully immersed in the holiday season. Retail stores are packed with shoppers looking to pick up the last few items on their list. According to Robert Klara (staff writer for Adweek) if there are at least eleven people in that packed store, one of them is leaving with a five-finger discount. Over the past year, $119 billion worth of merchandise was stolen from retailers around the world. The top three sectors affected were fashion apparel, health/beauty and home improvement. Electronics dealers, toy stores and jewelry stores were also on the list. The Center for Retail Research says this global shrink costs the average household approximately $200. Let’s restate that – shoplifters worldwide stole $200 from you last year.

This year the iPhone 4 is one of the top items lifted from retailers. Luckily there are ways for retailers to protect their merchandise and in turn protect your bottom line. How do I protect my product without locking it completely out of sight you ask? The answer is simple; you identify the high demand items and formulate a plan to protect them. The ideal plan usually consists of multiple security facets. Supermarkets and retail stores usually employ trained staff to increase customer service, all the while deterring theft. For instance, in comes the supermarket deli staff. They always greet you with a smile and insist you try the newest item on the sample tray. It’s pretty hard for a thief to escape with the filet mignon once they know they’ve been spotted. Similarly in the fashion category you have those tenacious sales clerks who follow you around asking if you need any help. They greet you this way for a reason; to let you know they have their eye on you. The fashion category adds another level of protection by using electronic article surveillance (EAS). Plastic tags or stickers are affixed to merchandise and if they leave the store without being deactivated an alarm will sound. These security methods allow the customer the ability to touch and feel the product before they purchase.

Research shows that consumers are more likely to buy if they can touch, feel and experience the product beforehand. This is especially true when talking about consumer electronics. Nowadays, it’s fun to go cell phone or tablet shopping because you get the chance to test drive multiple devices without having to commit to a purchase. Keep these devices powered up and safe from shoplifters by securing them with Vanguard’s Volt or Vital systems. VPG’s patented cord reel technology provides power and security for an attractive device presentation. Looking to protect your designer hand bags or high end sports apparel? Look no further! Since our merger with Protex International, VPG has been working diligently to re-release our soft good security solutions. Keep an eye out for new updates on our soft goods line in 2012!

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