The Spectre of Shoplifting Haunting UK Retailers – How Security Tagging Helps To Curb Retail Crime

Posted on 15 Jul 2019
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Ever since the innovation of the 'shop', theft has heavily affected a retailer's profit margins. Whilst up until the mid-late 20th century, the majority of theft was prevented by placing items behind a counter, this placed a (literal) barrier between customers and products. This makes the experience of shopping very impersonal and an unpleasant chore.

Later, the idea of allowing customers to browse items on the shop floor created a better connection between them and the products. However, this also led to an increase in theft. So how could a balance be found?

The idea for security tagging came along very quickly. Providing a way of allowing customers the freedom to peruse items in the store, these devices also allowed the business to protect their valuable stock. But what are they, and how do they work?

What Is Security Tagging?

EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) tags are placed upon valuable products by retailers who wish to balance the fine line between allowing customers the freedom to browse items at their leisure, with ensuring that their items are secure.

EAS tags can be placed on either the inside or outside of a product (and its packaging) and are designed to set off an alert whenever they are sensed by an accompanying EAS system (these are usually installed close to the entrance/exit of the store, to prevent people leaving with taggeditems). The sensors will take the shape of a physically visible pedestal system or an underfloor system or concealed door system – they all perform the same functions, but an underfloor security system and a concealed door system may be used if there is a lack of space on the shop floor, or if the store doesn't want to provide a physical deterrent with a pedestal system.

With their ability to be sensed, the great thing about security tagging systems is that they virtually guarantee that any products that have been tagged, would have been paid for. The tags can be removed and deactivated by unique tools at their point of purchase – giving staff the opportunity to get through sales quickly and easily, no doubt improving the experience on behalf of the customer.

Security tags can be placed on a vast array of products – anything from clothing, plastics, glass, cardboard, etc. Their wide usage in stores of all sizes indicate that they are an effective tool to use against the prospect of theft – but when not done so effectively, the spectre of shoplifting still lingers...

How EAS Tags Can Help To Curb Crime

Despite EAS tags being around for some time now, many stores will either not have them connected to their products or even if they do, they'll be employing insufficient systems/tactics to challenge people who attempt to leave the store with a tagged item.

Even the biggest of stores/shopping centres suffer from this; in 2015-2016, Bluewater Shopping Centre in Dartford, Market Street in Manchester and Bristol's The Horsefair were amongst the country's most-shoplifted locations .

This shows that the importance of being able to put in place a rigorousretail security plan simply cannot be overlooked – so, how can security tagging provide benefits, over other retail loss prevention techniques and devices?

  • Security tags are a deterrent . As most people will be aware of how a security tag works, it's more likely that anyone chancing their arm will be left frustrated upon seeing one. Most theft is done opportunistically – if the opportunities for them to steal don't exist, they'll move on. In the event that they try to take a tagged item regardless, or even tamper with a tag, well-placed EAS systems can sound an alarm before they can leave. Well-organised staff can quickly go and investigate.
  • EAS tags are reliable . One of the other great features of shopping security tags is that they are extremely durable; they cannot be removed by anything but a specially-designed remover. Their reliability is perfectly summed up by their ability to be constantly removed, reattached to new products and removed and reattached all over again. No matter how many times they're removed, they will still have the same ability to be sensed by the EAS system.
  • Security tagging is a great investment . Thanks to their tracking and re-usable abilities, EAS tags make for a fantastic investment to protect stock with. When you think about how much profit loss is suffered through theft , then whatever the initial costs are paid for a new system and/or tags will pay itself back extremely quickly.
  • Shop security tags promote a great in-store atmosphere . All staff and the customers they serve want one thing when they enter the store; to be able to experience a safe, positive atmosphere. The spectre of shoplifting won't just spook hardworking staff, leaving them constantly on-edge and having to cover roles that take them away from their main tasks – but as a customer, would you want to shop in a place that suffers heavily from theft? What does that say about the business? With the robust security solution provided by EAS tags, staff can concentrate on their usual roles and customers are able to browse as they wish, knowing that the business takes the security of their products seriously.

So those were the benefits of retail security tagging – if you're thinking about improving the security of your store, you've found the right place here at Tagmax.

Improve Your Store's Security, With Tagmax

For the last 20 years, we have been helping retailers to improve the security of their stores; safeguarding the safety of customers, staff and stock alike. No matter if you represent a major high-street chain, a small local business or a start-up, we can guarantee that we will be able to create a security solution and offer you the ideal products that will help you to achieve your goals.

If you would like to learn more about how security tagging can help your store, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. You can call us on 0800 044 3160 or alternatively, you can send an e-mail to us at

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