The Evolution of Alarm Tethers

It started in 2012 with a conversation about a simple recoiler or “pullbox” to secure handbags to fixtures, attached with a brass padlock. The senior vice president of loss prevention for a major specialty retailer asked Peter Morello, president of CIS Security Solutions, “What good does it do me if they can just cut the cord and steal the handbag?” Thinking, Morello said, “What if we can make it alarm?” Morello had already invented the Annunciator to protect cash drawers, multicolored validation ribbons, and Scratch and Secure Ink to protect receipts. From that conversation, the first alarming recoiling tether was born.

Solving Retailers’ Needs

2013—Gen2, the first alarming recoiling tether. It would alarm if the cable was cut. Items were still secured with a small brass padlock.

2015—Redesigned, the streamlined Gen3 “Mousetrap” alarming tether was created with a special magnetic lock. The “Mousetrap” was a huge success because it was smaller and needed to be deactivated with an IR remote.

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2016—Morello asked the new senior VP of that same specialty retailer from 2012, how things were going with the new Gen3 tether. The VP said, “They are killing me. People are using their own magnets to take the handbags.” Morello said, “Let me work on that.” That’s when the Gen4 was introduced. CIS added a smart lock that could communicate with the PCB, causing it to alarm if the lock was released with an unauthorized detacher. To go with this new feature, CIS created the all-in-one handheld decoder with IR control and included magnet. Gen4 was made with a replaceable battery, but it involved seven screws, which meant labor cost, so the company created an exchange program and replaced the batteries themselves, as a “go green” initiative.

2017—The director of security for a major designer brand asked CIS to make Gen4 stronger because of an increase in grab-and-run thefts. CIS redesigned the tether again to increase the pull strength to 120 pounds.

2018—The new Gen5 was launched with the new pull strength and now with both separate alarm top and tether base that allowed for sustainability through replaceable components and batteries. You only have to replace the alarm top or the tether base if damaged, or change the battery with just one screw, saving millions in replacing devices and labor costs for retailers and helping reduce impact on landfills.

2019—Worldwide civil unrest and economic insecurity led to more theft. Retailers were searching for a way to increase security for their high-end products, and searching for a way to keep the brazen flash mobs from stripping their stores. Some called on CIS to create a solution.

2020—This year saw the COVID-19 pandemic began as well as civil unrest, which brought with it personal protective equipment, higher shoplifting thresholds, protests, riots, looting, and store closures. With the helpful feedback from CIS’ clients, Gen6 was created to deter and slow down the thieves. Gen6 has a bigger recoiler with a 49-strand flexible cable and a thick poly sleeve, making it hard to cut and visually deterring. It had all the benefits of the Gen5’s sustainability and ease of use but made it harder to steal items. Gen6 was created from necessity.

2021—Gen6 has Smart offshoots: Smart Padlock and Smart Release. These ends allow retailers to deactivate and release the merchandise with one push of a button on the decoder. These components are innovative, time saving, labor saving, money saving, and sustainable.

What Are Your Needs?

CIS listens and understands clients’ needs for labor savings, ease of use, return on investment, sustainability, training, customer service, and, most of all, stronger security measures. CIS products coevolve with those needs. As always, CIS is here when you need them. Email or call 772-287-7999.

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