Wine and liquor bottle security for grocery stores and alcohol beverage stores can be a difficult problem to address. According to the 2014-2015 Global Retail Theft Barometer report, in the Food and Beverages vertical rankings category, wines and spirits ranked number one both in North America AND Worldwide. The report states on page 55, “Products that are easy to steal, as well as easy to sell, are most prone to theft – resulting in high pilferage for items such as accessories, perfumes, and wines and spirits.” If you run a store that sells wine or alcohol you may be seeing empty shelves, but not from sales. Thieves could be targeting your merchandise if you aren’t protecting it. You may contend that you are protecting your merchandise because you are locking up your high dollar beverages. You might even argue that you are using bottle locks to secure merchandise higher than a specific price point. I would commend you on those efforts, but I believe you could do better. Shoplifters may be denied access to the expensive goods, but they will move to the cheaper items if they think no one is paying attention. A solution for protecting your lower-risk, lower end-merchandise is the Alpha Security Steel grip bottle cap.
The Steel Grip lock is an electronic article surveillance (EAS) device that is designed to provide bottle security for lower-risk wines and spirits. The lock has a metal strap that is secured around the lower portion of the bottle cap, tightening it around the neck of the bottle. While it does not protect the full cap like the other styles of bottle locks do, it does provide visual deterrence and EAS alarm protection if someone attempts to steal a bottle.
I have always been opposed to the merchandise protection strategy that sets a price point on merchandise before it is protected with some type of security device. As a former Loss Prevention Manager, I had to abide by similar guidelines and it annoyed me. In my opinion, this type of strategy is indicating there will be an acceptable level of loss. Here is what I mean, I walked into one grocery store and looked at their selection of wines. I tried to determine the price point that they were using before they implemented bottle security. It appeared the price of a bottle had to be around $29.99 or above before they used bottle locks to protect the merchandise. There were not a lot of selections at this price point, so that left a LOT of wine and champagne unprotected below that price. As a matter of fact, I would estimate over 95 percent of the merchandise in the department was NOT protected and therefore subject to theft. It might be irritating to a shoplifter to be prevented from stealing the higher priced bottle, but I can tell you from experience, they will be willing to settle for a $20 bottle if the $30 bottle is not available. Why is that loss acceptable to any store manager? That’s the message being sent.
The best strategy for improving profits and keeping store shelves in-stock for your legitimate customers is to protect all of the merchandise in a category of which you are concerned could be a target for theft. In a grocery store, squash and celery theft may not be a significant concern, but wine is (as indicated in the Global Retail Theft Barometer Report). Grocery managers should not worry about merchandise protection for veggies, but investing in Alpha Security bottle locks for all of the wine in the store could pay big dividends, especially if all the bottles are protected in some fashion.
Use Alpha Security full size bottle locks on your top shelf/ high ticket wines and spirits but don’t neglect the lower priced bottles. Use the Steel Grip bottle lock to deter ALL theft in your store and watch your profits grow.
Bottle Security is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.