When those of us in the retail world think about bottle security the first thing that always comes to mind are alcoholic beverages. This is a category of product that does carry a hefty price tag and requires protection. Bottle locks provide that protection and can take the worry out of carrying these products, which allows a store to increase their sales by broadening their product lines. Broadening product lines increases customer appeal and draws in patrons you may not have catered to previously.
My personal experience with bottle security is limited to wines and champagnes. I recall when the company I worked for began carrying alcohol, even in a limited form I was concerned about the theft we were going to see in that area. We did not have any protection for our product other than closed circuit television, emphasis on customer service and a small Assets Protection Team. We did not tag the bottles since it would interfere with branding of the product and it was a vendor item so we did receive vendor credit when product did not sell or was removed by the vendor. To be frank, I was not even aware if there was anything on the market to provide bottle security. If I had known I would have screamed to my District Team Leader to look into such a thing.
Bottle locks would have been the perfect solution for our situation.The device can be fitted directly over the cap of a bottle to prevent the bottle from being opened. Additionally, they come in a variety of sizes and designs allowing retailers the flexibility to protect multiple bottle designs. They work in conjunction with an EAS system so they provide a double layer of protection activating the alarm at the door if someone attempted to walk out without paying. Should someone attempt to pry the device off, there is a strong possibility they will shatter the bottle.
While shoplifting was something I knew we might have to combat, I was also very concerned about the security of the product in our stockroom. Anyone who has worked in retail security or retail management knows how vulnerable a backroom can be with plenty of areas to hide, and often limited staffing in those areas. It can be a very real challenge with respect to shortage control. With the addition of wine and champagne in our vendor area, I did have to try to find ways to monitor the product and deter theft. It required dedicating resources to the area and our Assets Protection team increased trash checks and audits to look for signs of theft. On the surface it may not seem like much, but there were other areas I would have preferred to focus our attention. Had we implemented a bottle security program that included bottle locks, we could have spent far less time and energy monitoring the backroom for potential pilferage of alcohol.
I can think of a few instances where our team did prevent attempted rollouts of bottles of wine, and our shortage results never reflected huge shortage in the wine department, but we did have some theft. As a big box retailer, we had the advantage of employing a loss prevention team and we had sales floor staff that helped to deter theft, but I have often questioned how difficult it must be for a small business owner to control theft. What can the owner of a liquor store, or say a wine specialty store do to protect THEIR business? Smaller staffs, tighter payroll and limited resources make it critical that the product stay in the store. Small businesses could add to their profits by significantly reducing shortage using bottle locks to deter theft.
Increase the price points of the wines and liquors your business carries, knowing that you have a strong bottle security program in place. Use bottle locks to your advantage, by protecting your product and keeping it out of the hands of thieves and in the hands of customers and watch your profits soar!
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