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News

Reducing Retail Losses Using Surveillance Technology

Axis Communications : 26 October, 2011  (Technical Article)
Axis Communications explains how IP-based CCTV equipment is being used to the advantage of the retail industry to prevent theft and reduce losses
Reducing Retail Losses Using Surveillance Technology
With recent figures showing a rise in the already high price of theft to retailers, despite continued investment in security, it is more important than ever to adopt smarter loss prevention techniques, according to Axis Communications.

The 2011 Global Retail Theft Barometer¹ (GRTB) reveals shrinkage cost UK retailers £4,890m, up from £4,417m in 2010, even though spending on security has risen by 4.3 per cent in the UK to £1,019m this year.

Atul Rajput, retail business development manager at Axis Communications, said: "Despite an increase in adoption of security technologies, theft is still on the increase. An effective loss prevention strategy should of course evaluate new technology, but should not simply adopt the 'latest and greatest' products. Retailers need to harness solutions which can deliver tangible benefits and reduce costs."

This is particularly relevant given the challenging economic climate and the fact that the GRTB survey also revealed that 25 per cent of European retailers intend to invest in new video surveillance systems over the next 12 months.

Atul said: "IP surveillance is central to this as it produces clear and versatile footage while reducing both implementation and maintenance costs compared to older analogue systems. In fact, earlier this year we commissioned a report that was conducted by the Centre of Retail Research which suggested that 71 per cent of overall retailers and 87 per cent of larger retailers are set to adopt network video into future loss prevention strategy, as retailers become increasingly aware of the benefits associated with this technology."

Shoplifting still continues to pose the biggest risk to retailers costing them £2,146m. However, employee fraud and sweethearting, where staff give unauthorised discounts or aid theft at the till, are on the increase and closing the gap at a hefty £1,765m.

Atul said: "The majority of this fraud takes place at the till which is very hard to police. However, IP technology can monitor what is put through the till and compare this to data from point-of-sale (POS) terminals as both sit on the network. In addition, new software analytics have been developed that work with IP cameras which are able to detect  non scans at the till. This means that these next generation CCTV systems are not only able to provide hard and fast evidence if staff are being fraudulent, but can also identify loss associated with process or technology related issues."

According to Atul, Axis Communications' HDTV network cameras can be installed more cost effectively and therefore allow security budgets to stretch even further: "HDTV network cameras offer a minimum resolution three times greater than the analogue CCTV cameras used within many stores today. This means that positive identification can be made faster and even the smallest of details can be picked up, such as the slight of hand of a shoplifter or an opportunistic member of staff. Additionally, better image quality means that retailers can now benefit from improved security coverage while using fewer cameras."
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