How to protect liquor from theft

How can you protect your liquor products?

The cognac conundrum: protecting your liquor from theft

By Corey Daff

July 29 2020

A few months ago, a shoplifter strolled into a retailer in a small Massachusetts town. He looked relaxed wearing a blue sweatshirt; red knit hat on his head. No one suspected he was about to steal $4,000 worth of Cognac. While it’s hopefully only a matter of time until the shoplifter gets caught by the Seekonk police, this just highlights how common liquor theft is. According to the National Retail Federation, liquor is amongst the topmost targeted products for shoplifters.

Ticking shoplifting boxes

Top-shelf liquor, imported wine, and craft beer are some of the most expensive consumables you can buy, which explains why people steal them from grocery stores all the time. Unfortunately, the reason for being such popular targets is also due to its ticking a series of shoplifting boxes:

Regardless of the reasons, liquor theft costs retailers a significant sum. The National Retail Federation most recent National Retail Security Survey reports an estimated $50.6 billion in shrink, which has a significant impact on the retail industry.

So, what should retailers do to protect their liquor from shoplifters?

How can you protect your liquor products?

The most effective option to protect your liquor products is the use of Electronic Article Surveillance technology, combined with security tags that are designed specifically to protect wines, spirits and other liquor products. The two most-used methods in protecting liquor include soft tags (labels) and hard tags (bottle caps).

Among the latest innovations in Electronic Article Surveillance, positioning your EAS system right at the point of sale helps to significantly reduce theft in grocery retail.

Choosing the right loss prevention method for liquor products

Choosing the right EAS security tags and labels is crucial in protecting your products against shoplifters. The two most-used methods in protecting liquor include soft tags (security labels) and hard tags (bottle caps). Both provide advantages and disadvantages. Whenever you choose to apply security labels or opt to use hard tags depends on several key factors. In deciding between the two, several key factors need to be considered:

Liquor security tags  

A guideline to decide on which method to use, hard tags are used to protect high-value liquor. These products are often sold in a single transaction or a transaction involving just a few items. These items tend to have a higher price. Because of this, the tag can easily be detached at the point of sale. Another benefit of using hard tags is the deterrent factor. Bottle tags are designed to be placed over the neck of the bottle effortlessly. Bottle tags can only be removed at the point of sale and boast an impressive lifetime, with tags being used for over 10 years in the field.

The benefits include the reusability and ease for store staff to detach and reattach bottle tags. Liquor bottles are protected while still allowing customers to touch, feel and examine the bottles.

This makes the bottle tag a solid investment, as the total cost of investment goes down significantly. The downside of the bottle tag is that it can take up some shelf space.

Liquor security labels

A cost-effective method is the use of security labels. These labels are applied directly to the bottle, before the application of a brand label. This is called ‘spotting’, a discrete and effective way to protect your liquor products. Applying the security label before the application of a brand label requires the involvement of manufacturers and/or labelers. This is called ‘Source Tagging’.  Labels allow for an easy deactivation at the point of sale, using a deactivator that is incorporated into the Point of Sale scanner.

3 Key-elements for successful loss prevention in grocery retail

Key factors to consider when determining your loss prevention strategy are how well your security tags and labels can be deactivated and detected by your EAS system. The third factor is to determine how your store staff responds to alarms.

If any of these elements are not performing well, the effectiveness of an EAS alarm system is significantly lowered, as there is a high risk that there may be no alarms or false alarms. Our latest EAS technology innovation solves this problem. The Checkout Assisted Shrinkage Antenna is specifically designed for grocery retailers and offers a customer-friendly way to significantly reduce theft by positioning the EAS technology right at the point of sale.

Want to learn ow loss prevention can improve the employee happiness and customer experience in food retail?
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Corey Daff - Account Executive - US Sales
Account Executive - US Sales
Corey Daff