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Surveillance and Strobe Lights: Walmart, Target and Other Major Retailers Level Up Their Loss Prevention

New anti-theft strategies are being implemented as holiday shopping shifts into full gear

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Mass merchants and major retail chains are reaching deeper into their bag of tricks this year to prevent holiday shoplifting.

Retailers including Target and Barnes & Noble are locking up items behind plexiglass or using steel cables to tie merchandise to store shelves, Reuters reports, while others are installing cameras and hiring more security personnel.

The new anti-crime measures have industry observers warning about their effect on shoppers.

Burt Flickinger, Managing Director at retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group, told the outlet, “Nowadays you can see shampoos are locked up, along with acetaminophen and Tylenol and multipacks of toothpaste locked up. … People planning to shop in stores will not want to go in to these locked and over-secured stores. So overall retailers lose both the planned purchase and the impulse purchases.”

Additionally, mobile surveillance units have come into vogue, with retailers like Walmart, J.C. Penney and Walgreens deploying them to record activity in parking lots. They’re also equipped with flashing strobe lights and loud speakers to warn potential thieves they’re being observed, the article says.

Target recently cited shoplifting as a significant driver of a $400 million profit loss, saying it will invest in staff training and implement new anti-theft measures to address the problem.

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Read more at Reuters.

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