Halo Metrics provides retail security solutions that protect the shopping experience.
Following a problem of theft of winter coats during the 2012-2013 season, we called upon Mr. Lemire of Halo Metrics to find a simple and effective solution to counter this problem. The following is a summary of our experience with the solution.
In the past, we used steel cables to lock our high-end coasts, but this technique required a lot of handling by our sales consultants, and there was a risk of damaging the merchandise. We noticed that we were losing sales because several clients were hesitating to purchase our products when they realized the time required to try on a coat.
We therefore met with Mr. Lemire, who suggested that we try out the AF4000 system for a 2-week period. We gathered comments from our employees, and from a number of customers in the store, in order to evaluate the system’s performance with respect to loss prevention and ease of use, both for employees and for our customers. Following are the points that stood out:
  • Simplicity of use: The action time required to override the system is a few seconds, and the handling procedures for installing the sensors are very simple.
  • Ease of trying on merchandise: Customers are able to try on merchandise freely without needing assistance from a sales consultant. The system has few or no restrictions that would interfere with the comfort of people trying on the product.
  • Effectiveness: The system does not give false alarms (we were concerned about this initially). The sound level is loud enough to be audible throughout the entire area of our store (more than 8,000 sq. ft.); it is a deterrent, but does not give the impression of the customer being a thief if it is activated inadvertently.
  • Visual impact: The module bases, as well as the sensors, are not very visible on the display racks, and hence do not affect the visual appearance of the store. In addition, we use metal plates to attach our module bases, which allows us to move items around in the store as we wish.
In light of this trial period, we have concluded that the system is adequate to meet our expectations OR requirements. We have therefore equipped our store with ten (10) module base sets: good for 40 coats.
Now that the season is over, we notice that our theft problem has been resolved, since there were no missing items in our annual inventory. We expect to increase the number of theft protection sets for the next season, as we are convinced that this system is effective. We are more than satisfied with the products, and this is why we are very confident in recommending this solution to you to fight shoplifting.
If you would like more information on this system, do not hesitate to contact me.
The Business:
For the major part of his life, Benoit Ducharme has lived Canadian Tire. Located in Montreal, Quebec, he has applied his extensive merchandising knowledge to serve his clients’ needs and to build a customer oriented business.
The Situation:
In the past, Mr. Ducharme has utilized demo models out front with the remaining stock in the back and locked cages in order to keep their merchandise secure. These solutions worked, but caused their own set of challenges for the store.    Although, the store had demonstration models available for customers, in order to purchase the product, they had to wait for a staff member to come and unlock the secure grilled or glass showcases to hand out the product. The system worked in that it kept the shoplifting to a minimum, but it also created a heavy dependency on staff labor while penalizing the honest shoppers and produced long waits for other shoppers. Not to mention the PA system that would constantly call out for staff assistance to the various aisles to help customers.
“Spider Wraps give the impression of a higher level of security. So they provide a greater deterrent.” Benoit Ducharme.

It didn’t take long to realize that the situation created poor time management for the staff and less merchandising space available in the store. The negative shopper experience resulted in lowered sales as other shoppers, who had to wait too long for service, walked out. The locked cages took up a lot of floor space and didn’t display the product properly - a big detriment for big ticket items. Another problem was the keys to the locked showcases. With a key cutting center within the store itself, management needed to watch for theft of anyone who could get a copy of the keys.

The Process:
When looking at a full on reorganization of the store, Mr. Ducharme learned about the Spider Wrap security solution offered by Halo Metrics Inc. A tipping point in the decision making process was finding out about the companies who already utilize the product with great success. He realized implementing the new technology was a move that he couldn’t ignore. He had to consider at what point does the initial cost outlay stack up against the cost of NOT bringing the product in?  The Spider Wraps allowed him to remove all the glass and grilled showcases, open up the floor space for new products, display the high end products in a more user friendly way all while eliminating theft problems. It wasn’t long before Mr. Ducharme could see the benefit for other products throughout the store.
Determining and identifying the initial products to start with Spider Wrap was the first step. Working with his Halo Metrics rep, power tools were identified as the potential starting point - a product known for its high theft level With the thorough hands-on training and implementation assistance provided by Halo Metrics, the staff learned how to handle, apply, and remove the Spider Wraps in a proficient manner that minimized the disturbance to the store and shoppers.  The advantages were immediate. The Spider Wraps not only reduced the number of staff hours dealing with the locked showcases, it kept the high theft items safe with an unexpected benefit - it reduced pillaging. As the customers could no longer open the boxes and look inside, parts didn’t go missing, and product was no longer damaged by customer handling.
After the training session, the store settled to having two staff members that handle all the implementation of Spider Wraps on the products as they arrive in an efficient seamless manner. The cashiers are comfortable removing the Spider Wraps at the tills where the ‘cookies’ or small plastic discs are collected and returned. The initial test was so successful that Mr. Ducharme moved flat screened TVs, typically stored in the back, out to the front of the store where they could be safely displayed using Spider Wraps.

“Another order will be placed to increase the merchandise horizon and help limit pilfering.” Benoit Ducharme

With the product successfully opening up staff time to serve other customers the atmosphere and sales have balanced out nicely and the PA system no longer calling out incessantly for staff to help customers. Mr. Ducharme is now looking at implementing Spider Wraps in the faucet department. This is one area where pillaging is a problem that Spider Wraps could effectively halt. Other areas under consideration are the GPS units, winches, and fish finders.  The look of the product is professional and appears to be a strong deterrent. Mr. Ducharme is pleased that they have yet to find a Spider Wrap loose in the store. That the Spider Wraps are reusable while providing a long term solution makes them a cost effective answer to an old problem.

With the store being independently owned and being very conscious of wage costs and service levels, Mr. Ducharme believes it’s important to increase your service level without increasing wage cost through the addition of more staff.

Adding Spider Wraps to the various high ticket, high theft items has:
• Increased sales
• Allowed the company to offer better service to its customers
• Enhanced the customers shopping experience
• Increased the job enjoyment for its own staff
• Reduced theft and pillage

The Spider Wraps have proven to work well. They’ve solved the problems we needed to solve. What’s not to like! 
“Halo Metrics is a great security partner. Their cutting edge solutions and strong support have helped our business become more profitable while providing a better shopping experience for our customers.” Benoit Ducharme

Benoit Ducharme
Canadian Tire # 218
ST. Eustache, Quebec
The Business:
Over the past 13 years Ward Saito and his brother Ross have successfully owned and operated several Canadian Tire Dealer Associate stores in Western Canada.  They currently own 4 Vancouver area stores and have applied their knowledge of customers, merchandising, operations, and loss prevention to make these businesses highly successful.

The Situation:
Part of the merchandising options available to Canadian Tire Dealers includes the use of showcase cabinets and locked cages to secure product on the floor.  Although these options help with theft prevention they also severely inhibit the shopping experience of regular honest customers. 
“Having the product locked up in cages or showcase cabinets gave us a huge customer service issue” says Ward.
The Saito’s saw this first hand in their stores where the volume was high and it took too much of the staff’s time to help customers with merchandise locked up behind cages or showcase cabinets.  The other issue with merchandising product in a locked cabinet is the lack of space and the resulting poor presentation. “You lose up to 10-20% merchandisable space in a locked cage” Ward notes.  You simply cannot get as much product inside as you need to and this leads to the display not presenting as it should.  The result was lower sales for key product categories such as power tools.
The Process:
Ross Saito learned of a security solution that would allow them to openly display high risk items normally secured in locked cages. 
This device is called a Spider Wrap and it is compatible with the stores existing EAS Checkpoint system.  The Spider Wrap has 4 air craft cable wires that envelope and cinch down tightly around packaged merchandise.  There are different models of various sizes and embedded technology.  An Alarming Spider Wrap sounds an alarm when a thief tries to cut the cables or tampers with the device. 
Ross Saito first used the Spider Wrap in his Cambie store and found it beneficially immediately.  The staff was freed from attending locked displays, customers had access to merchandise they wanted to buy, and theft was not a major issue. 
Ward Saito moved forward with Spider Wraps in his Grandview Highway store in Vancouver with the power tool section.  Working with Halo Metrics he tested the Spider Wraps on his Lock Sets as these were a high theft item that was typically locked up.  The test was successful on many fronts as the Lock Sets could now be safely displayed in the open while controlling the risk of theft. 
“Spider Wraps allow customers to interact with the merchandise and furthermore gave us the confidence that the protected items had not been pilfered.  We knew that everything was inside the packaging and customers would not have to come back to the stores complaining of missing components. ” Ward Saito 
Halo Metrics provided full training and resources to help staff feel comfortable and confident with using the Spider Wraps.  To make the operational implementation as seamless as possible SKU’s that were going to have the Spider Wrap applied were flagged in the Equity inventory system.  Price point and shrink risk determined which product would get protected.  As shipments would arrive in receiving staff would immediately separate the flagged SKU’s and apply the Spider Wrap on the spot.
The security keys used to remove the Spider Wrap were installed at every cash till.  Collected Spider Wraps are removed from the cash area and are held in Customer Service until taken away by the warehouse.  To keep the process as efficient as possible Ward recommends using a select few staff to apply the Spider Wrap to merchandise.  They become very proficient and quick in the installation of the security solution.
Using the Spider Wrap does take some commitment but the payoff is worth it.  As soon you move merchandise out of locked cages and showcase cabinets and onto open displays you will see a sales lift.  Beyond the noticeable sales increase other benefits include:
• Customers have a better experience as they can freely shop open displays
• Spider Wrapped product is easier to merchandise on display and presents the product as intended
• Merchandise remains secured and risk of theft is controlled
• Staff is confident that packaged merchandise remains intact and is safe from pilfering
• Sales labour can be efficiently used to sell more product rather than servicing locked displays
“Spider Wraps help you deliver a better customer experience by allowing you to openly display as many SKU’s as possible.  Merchandising is made easy when using this security solution while controlling theft and pilfering issues.  I appreciate the service and support that Halo Metrics has provided with the implementation of the Spider Wrap in our stores.” Ward Saito
Ward Saito
Associate Dealer
Greater Vancouver Associate Stores Ltd.
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