For over thirty years, electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems have been used by retailers to tackle theft. A first-of-its-kind survey aims to learn from loss prevention leaders from around the world the extent to which they are using EAS in their stores, how EAS is managed, the challenges and the opportunities, their degree of interest in new emerging technologies, and their thoughts on the future of EAS.
The survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete and maximum participation will help provide valuable benchmark data to help the retail industry better understand the role of EAS technology in managing shrink both today and in the future. If your organization has not yet participated in this research, please contact Colin Peacock of ECR Europe at colinmpeacock (at) ecr-shrink-group (dot) com.
According to the latest Global Retail Theft Barometer (GRTB) released in November, EAS systems are the most common merchandise protection solutions deployed to address shoplifting worldwide with 68 percent of retailers reporting that they deploy EAS in their stores. The GRTB results were summarized in a webinar presented by LP Magazine featuring the study’s author Ernie Deyle, a retail loss prevention analyst, and sponsored by Checkpoint Systems. To access the archived webinar, click here.
In his feature article for LP Magazine’s July-August 2015 issue titled “Where Next for EAS”?, Colin Peacock addresses the past, present, and future of EAS security technology. Despite the fact that electronic article surveillance systems have been in use for three decades, loss prevention organizations continue to use the technology while waiting for newer technologies, such as RFID, to become more widely available and more cost effective. As Peacock mentions in his treatise, “If EAS is today a mature technology, then the next stage could be assumed to be decline. This then opens up the question—how should retailers and loss prevention leaders manage this decline?”
The emerging retail environment with self-scanning and mobile payments where customers can potentially purchase merchandise without interfacing with an employee or checking out at a traditional register makes removal or deactivation of EAS tags problematic. A recent study by Professor Adrian Beck and Dr. Matt Hopkins of the University of Leicester in the UK found managing EAS in a mobile scan and pay environment a potential source for conflict between customers and retail staff at worst and a negative impact on the customer experience at best.
Because EAS is so entrenched in the retail industry environment, loss prevention and asset protection professionals will need to better manage EAS today while transitioning it into future product protection strategies. This study will potentially be a first step toward that goal. Hopefully, enough retailers will participate in the research to provide meaningful results.