Checkpoint Systems reveals new solution to tackle basket theft

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In response to recent reports of increased shopping basket theft, Checkpoint Systems, a leading global supplier of merchandise availability solutions for the retail industry, has revealed that stores can use its existing Alpha O-Tag solution to minimise basket disappearances.

Following the introduction of the carrier bag levy on 5 October, a number of grocery chains have been testing solutions to deter people from removing baskets from their stores. With thousands disappearing in Scotland and Wales when similar charges were introduced, retailers have been keen to avoid similar issues in England.

In preparation for the English levy, one major retailer ordered 60,000 extra baskets to cope with increased basket theft across the country. The financial cost of the crime is significant and a direct erosion of the bottom line. Checkpoint Systems says that its Alpha O-Tag solution will notably reduce loss in this area and provide stores, who suffer from a high level of disappearances, with a return on investment even if just a fraction are saved.

The Alpha O-Tag provides a compact, one piece solution that is easily applied to the handle of a shopping basket, acting as a visual theft deterrent. The solution is extremely durable and has a rubber centre, meaning that there is no risk of the caging or shielding effects from the wire frame that prevents other EAS tags being detected by antenna.

Importantly for retailers, Checkpoint Systems’ Alpha O-Tag, which was originally developed specifically for hard-to-protect metal merchandise, fits onto the handle of the basket. This means that it will not reduce the volume of goods that customers can fit into baskets. Additionally, the positioning of the tag means that it will not interfere with other baskets when they are stacked in-store.

The Alpha O-Tag can be simply retrofitted by staff in-store and provides managers with indication on how frequently their assets are removed by customers. From this, they can ensure that baskets are readily available for customers, to maintain satisfaction levels.

Russell Holland, global accounts director at Checkpoint Systems, said: “Following the introduction of the carrier bag levy in England, retailers have seen instances of customers removing baskets from their stores, either absent mindedly or intentionally, increase.

“Our Alpha O-Tag solution has been used to protect metal merchandise for some time. However, having tested a range of EAS tags on wire and plastic baskets, it’s clear that it also provides a superb solution for retailers who are suffering from increased basket disappearances. It will always alert staff when their assets are removed and importantly, as it is not obtrusive, it has virtually no impact to shoppers or the retailer itself.

“In order to minimise losses, sometimes we have to look at new uses for existing technology, as well as creating new products and solutions. Any retailers that are seeing baskets disappear will see a significant financial saving by fitting them with an Alpha O-Tag.”