Stock availability is key in order to provide a unique shopping experience, with an unparalleled choice of fragrance and cosmetics, to beauty fans around the world. Keeping that in mind, Sephora Mexico developed an EAS-based loss prevention strategy that pays for itself.
Founded in 1969, Sephora has acquired the beauty expert reputation internationally. In their stores, customers can touch, smell, and test products. Resulting in a great shopping experience. Their merchandise is worldwide available via one of their 17 webshops, or in one of their brick-and-mortar stores, located in 35 different countries in Europe, America, Asia, and the Middle East.
Sephora offers high-end cosmetics which are high-theft items. The biggest challenge is external theft, especially from some creative shoplifters using booster bags (lined inside with aluminum). While also keeping the system downtime to a minimum, because store personnel often decide to switch-off the entire system. Because of this, Sephora experienced an increase in losses due to theft at certain peak times.
With an extensive track record in various security advisory roles at major companies, Orta joined Sephora in 2016 and is responsible for loss prevention at all Mexican stores. During his career he has seen quite a few developments when it comes to EAS systems and general security, and now it is time for Sephora Mexico to take the next step.
Orta continuously strives to find the right balance between both loss prevention and Sephora’s ambition to provide a unique shopping experience. This is quite a challenge considering high-end cosmetics are high-theft items. “The biggest challenge we encounter is external theft. Before we started our migration to RF-based EAS in 2016, we had to make a great investment in training and education of our security staff. However, we still kept facing some challenges from some very creative shoplifters.”
One of the issues Orta is referring to is thefts using booster bags, lined inside with aluminum, shielding the product labels. “Fortunately, the EAS equipment we have already been using since 2016 allows for the easy add-on of metal detection capabilities. So, we did not have to replace all antennas in order to use this functionality.
Since implementing this technology, we can say that the reduction in shrinkage has been very significant.Efrain Orta, Loss Prevention Agent at Sephora Mexico:
The results so far have been so successful that we have been given the green light to proceed with the upgrade in all Mexican stores, and for the installation of all our new stores going forward.”
Avoiding risks by eliminating creative ways of shoplifting is one thing, however, keeping system downtime to a minimum is another challenge. “We get notified every time an EAS system becomes disconnected from the network. Because EAS alarms affect store conversion rates, store personnel often decide to switch off the entire system. Because of this, we found that we experienced an increase in losses due to theft at certain peak times.”
In order to keep our EAS systems in good shape and avoid these kinds of risks, Orta chose to add Fast Remote Service to the running subscription provided by his Nedap partner, EAS México. “This allows us to save time in maintenance services. We know in advance what is happening in stores, and what problems we are facing. We have a much better visualization of the failures that we are experiencing. Before, we had no choice but to send technicians to on-site visits to find out what kind of problem we were undergoing. Now, we can detect an issue before a technician comes to the store.
EAS México is facilitating its operation for us by 90%. We supposedly have a 24-hour response time, but the truth is that this response time has been reduced by half, and many times even much less.” Thanks to this successful loss prevention strategy, Sephora Mexico benefits from an interesting cost-benefit ratio: “If we consider that we have had an annual reduction of billions of Mexican Pesos since implementing this technology, we can say that the reduction has been very significant. For this reason, we can ensure that the systems pay for themselves! Moreover, having this type of system that directly impacts our business will allow us to make more investments in the future!”
In order to keep the EAS systems in good shape and avoid risks, Fast Remote Service was added to their running subscription provided by Nedap Retail. This allows Sephora to save time in maintenance service since they know what is happening in stores in advance. An issue can be detected before a technician comes to the store.