Fashion retailer Republic plans to implement new and improved security systems at all of its future stores in order to cut down on theft and improve the retail theatre of its shops.
The new radio frequency (RF) Cobra System technology, designed in conjunction with The Tag Company, reduces the need for security pedestals at the front of stores thus opening up shop fronts to attract maximum footfall and further promote the products inside.
At present only the Republic outlet in Wakefield’s new Trinity Walk shopping complex has introduced this innovative device, but the business plans to use Cobra at its showcase store in Westfield Stratford City when it opens in September.
Republic’s Head of Profit Protection Paul Burlace remarked: “It is the first RF system to be almost invisible while at the same time offering us greater cost savings and the ability to increase our tag zone at the front of the store.
“In addition, we now have increased tagging options such as soft tags on low risk merchandise.
“Although from an appearance point of view, the previous loop system was great, it had significant limitations and reduced our ability to protect products at the front of the store.”
Implementation of the technology comes despite the most recent British Retail Consortium’s Retail Crime Survey showing that shoplifting and most other types of retail crime fell over the course of 2010.
Although shoplifting was down 10.6 per cent, the total value of goods stolen was significantly higher than 2009 at £137 million.
“From a loss prevention perspective, the dual dapa system over came this with the inclusion of pedestals in the entrance but this had a visual impact on the store entrance,” Burlace commented.
A bespoke antenna has been placed beneath the floor at the entrance of the Wakefield store, and this format will be the blueprint for all future openings “because it combines the right balance of greater customer experience and footfall with the ability to protect our merchandise more effectively”, he added.
CEO of The Tag Company Jon Marchese said the new security offering took two years to develop, but was designed using the expertise and opinions from both retailer and supplier.
It is also an example of how retail theatre is becoming an increasingly important part of companies’ strategies to attract more people into stores by making them as welcoming as possible.
“The entrance in Wakefield is six metres,” Marchese explained.
“Typically, this would have been protected with between three and five surface-level pedestals which from a store design perspective breaks up the visual of an entrance and can also almost herd customers into a store which is not the experience that retailers want.”