How EAS Tags and RFID Tags Enable Retail Store Profitability 

No matter what sector you’re in, your business’s profitability depends on a host of factors, from your relationship with your suppliers to current trends among consumers. When it comes to retail, supporting your profitability involves more than just selling as many products as you can. 

One of the biggest threats to a retail store’s profitability is retail shrink, like theft and inventory loss, which can add up quickly. Unlike damaged or overstocked merchandise, the cost of which can at least be partially recovered, retail shrink must be written off as a loss. However, shrink is also largely preventable, which can help you grow your profits without needing to sell more. 

Here are 5 ways that EAS tags, RFID tags, and other RFID solutions can enable your retail store’s profitability. 

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What You Need to Know About the Evolution of Cash Usage in a Post-Pandemic Future 

For decades, experts have speculated that the next new payment method, from credit cards to cryptocurrency, would replace cash completely. But even during a global pandemic that saw in-person payments plummet in just a few weeks, cash has remained a reliable, accessible means of payment that consumers trust. 

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, we have seen some significant changes in how consumers use, save and value cash. As reported by the Federal Reserve in its 2021 Findings from the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, cash use made up 19 percent of all payments, down seven points from before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they also found that the average value of cash held in a consumer’s pocket, purse or wallet increased to $74, up $20 from 2019. 

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How Banks Promote Trust, and How Banking Supplies Fit into the Equation 

One of the fundamental pillars of a successful bank is its reputation. Simply put, customers do not want to keep their money with a financial institution they do not trust. In order for banks to retain their existing customers and bring on new clients, they need to build and maintain a trustworthy reputation using their employees, security and banking supplies. 

Traditionally, this type of trust is developed through real-life interactions between bank employees and customers, but the rapid shift to online banking means that banks now need to build these relationships digitally as well. Although newer banks and financial institutions might adapt to the digital space more quickly, they do not have the advantage of an established brand to encourage customers to trust them. 

Today, we’ll go over how banks and financial institutions can build trust with their customers using proven techniques and reliable banking supplies. 

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Targets, Trends, and Threats in ORC

In a recent webinar CONTROLTEK hosted in conjunction with the Loss Prevention Foundation, I was joined by Ben Dugan, CFI, director of ORC and corporate investigations at CVS Health, and president of the National Coalition of Law Enforcement & Retail (CLEAR).

With organized retail crime (ORC) at the forefront of everyone’s minds, this timely discussion centered around targets, trends, and threats impacting retailers today. “Organized retail crime is the number one contributor to ongoing security threats in the retail industry today,” said Dugan. While the COVID-19 pandemic certainly plays into this, Dugan stated that “retailers are considering ORC their number one challenge—this is what keeps them up at night. There is an increase due to COVID, but also an increase in the associated violence that goes along with ORC.” Dugan also noted that some retailers have seen incidences involving external theft along with violence double since COVID-19, due to emboldened thieves.

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Targets, Trends and Threats in ORC Webinar: What You Need to Know About Organized Retail Crime in 2021 and Beyond 

CONTROLTEK recently partnered with the Loss Prevention Foundation to present the webinar “Targets, Trends and Threats in ORC” with co-host Ben Dugan, director of ORC and corporate investigations at CVS Health and president of the National Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retailer (C.L.E.A.R.), and Tom Meehan, CFI, chief strategy officer, and chief information security officer at CONTROLTEK.

Short for organized retail crime, ORC has moved to the forefront of the conversation in retail. In fact, Dugan and Meehan both agree that ORC is the most dangerous security threat in the retail industry today. Many retailers consider organized retail crime to be one of their biggest challenges, with many companies unable to meet their profit goals because of the losses caused by ORC. 

Since 2020, we have seen a huge increase in ORC, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic and an increased shift to e-commerce. One of the major issues in the fight against organized retail crime is the ongoing controversy between e platforms like Amazon and eBay and retailers and law enforcement, who claim that these platforms facilitate the sale of stolen goods by failing to verify sellers. 

The increase in organized retail crime has huge costs across the retail industry. Dugan reported that external thefts involving violence have doubled at CVS Health since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wall Street Journal reported that retailers like Target, Ulta Beauty, TJX, and Home Depot have seen the number of investigations into criminal networks grow by 86 percent since 2016. Organized retail crime has become such a huge challenge for retailers that it has surpassed loss prevention, and even the C-suite is now prioritizing combatting ORC in order to protect profitability. 

C.L.E.A.R. estimates that organized retail crime results in $45 billion in annual losses for retailers, a significant increase from the FBI’s estimate of $30 billion a decade ago. Today, retailers spend millions of dollars to combat organized retail crime groups that steal their merchandise and sell it online through e-commerce platforms. According to C.L.E.A.R., 100 percent of retailers surveyed reported being victims of ORC. 

Organized retail crime has also surpassed other sources of retail shrink. Today, the cost of ORC exceeds that of internal employee theft, and according to Dugan, external theft makes up 60 to 65 percent of retail theft. Although investigating cases of organized retail crime does reduce shrink, it’s not a sustainable long-term solution without any major preventative efforts, such as widespread collaboration between retailers and law enforcement and even creating new legislation. 

As mentioned earlier, the rise in online shopping and e-commerce has fueled organized retail crime by giving thieves more opportunities to sell stolen goods. Although the online marketplace has been on the rise since 2017, since the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer demand for online shopping has exploded. 

Amazon and eBay are the top e-commerce platforms today, not just for legitimate retailers and businesses but for organized retail crime groups as well. E-commerce platforms typically do not verify sellers’ identities and payment methods, which reduces the risk of being caught for thieves who sell stolen goods online. Today, ORC groups even sell stolen merchandise on mainstream social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit. 

Bringing more attention to the issue of organized retail crime can help law enforcement discover more cases and catch more thieves. Before 2020, many law enforcement groups and local governments were completely unaware of the rising threat of ORC, which left the burden of deterring theft and investigating ORC cases to retailers. But as retailers, federal agencies, and police departments continue to work closely together on ORC, law enforcement can work on real ORC cases and actually mitigate the issue. 

For nearly two years, the rapid digitization of almost every industry has ushered in some exciting changes for both consumers and businesses, while also increasing the risk of organized retail crime, cybersecurity threats, and much more. As retailers continue to combat ORC, it is essential for them to collaborate, share information and build effective strategies to protect their businesses and their customers. 

Please feel free to reach out to either Tom Meehan or Ben Dugan with any questions you may have about these topics. Organizations like C.L.E.A.R., are also here to support retailers in every facet of their loss prevention strategy. Don’t forget to check out the 2021 C.L.E.A.R. Conference, November 16-18, 2021, in Orlando, Florida. In addition, the Buy Safe America Coalition has numerous resources and ways to get involved and aid in the protection of consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods.

Upgrade Your Banking Supplies With the Best Counterfeit Detector Pen 

Businesses in every industry are constantly at risk of receiving counterfeit money in exchange for goods and services. To guard against this, many banks and other financial institutions rely on banking supplies like counterfeit detector pens to identify counterfeit bills as early as possible. 

According to data compiled by the United States Department of Treasury, roughly $70 million in counterfeit bills are in circulation within the country, which is about one note in counterfeits for every 10,000 in authentic currency. As you know, the government will not exchange counterfeit bills for real ones, so any losses associated with counterfeit bills must be written off as theft. 

A counterfeit money detector pen is a bank’s first line of defense against counterfeit bills. But how does a counterfeit money detector pen work to protect your business’s assets and reputation? 

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