Shoplifting is a persistent problem that costs retailers billions of dollars annually. To combat the issue, retailers have turned to a variety of strategies. One promising approach for retail loss prevention is to use secured displays that protect merchandise while enhancing the overall shopping experience.
According to a recent study by the National Retail Federation and the Loss Prevention Research Council, shoplifting and other retail theft costs businesses more than $112 billion annually – or about $335 for every person in the United States. That loss not only impacts bottom lines, but also leads to higher prices for consumers and job losses within the retail sector. Crime also led 28% of retailers to close locations in 2022 and 30% to alter product offerings.
For years, retailers have relied on traditional anti-shoplifting measures such as security cameras, mirrors and electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems. While these methods have helped deter theft to some degree, they are not foolproof. Shoplifters have become increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, finding ways to circumvent security measures. Shoplifting has also expanded to a wider variety of targeted merchandise.
As a leading manufacturer of retail signs, graphics and displays, Taylor has a front-row seat to this changing retail landscape. Acrylic Design Associates, a Taylor Corporation company, creates custom fixtures and displays for retailers nationwide – including a variety of secured displays.
“Until the last few years, shoplifting primarily targeted easily concealed items,” said Chris Hammond, VP of Client Services at Acrylic Design Associates. “Today, retailers are also seeing losses in different categories, such as small appliances, luxury makeup, sports equipment and more.”
As shoplifting has evolved, retailers are working to stay a step ahead. One way of doing so is by securing demo items to displays so that shoppers can still see and touch the merchandise but would have a difficult time attempting to remove it.
“Most people are familiar with secured placement for things like consumer electronics,” said Hammond. “Mobile phones, for example, can be tethered to a display, reducing the opportunity for theft. Many retailers and manufacturers are now applying a similar approach to other types of merchandise.”
One new area of concern involves potential for both loss and safety issues. Hammond says that some shoplifters are bringing small children into stores, under the assumption that an adult with a child is less likely to be profiled as a potential threat. This creates a concern not just about loss, but also potential for safety and liability issues – as stolen display samples may not include all necessary safety-related parts or instructions.
Acrylic Design Associates is helping retailers and product manufacturers address challenges like these by creating innovative and sustainable secured displays. With industry-leading technology and scale, Acrylic Design Associates leads the way in creating secured displays for a variety of product categories including mobile devices, ear buds and hearing aids, small appliances, beauty products, e-bicycles and more.
Such displays are often made from high-performance plastics, wood and/or metal – and are anchored to a floor or table. Features of these systems may include:
Only authorized personnel can remove items.
Some displays may include monitoring systems that trigger alarms if tampered with or if someone tries to open the display case without authorization.
Allowing customers to view products without being able to remove them.
Products are encased in the display in a way that allows customers to touch and interact with the display model without being able to remove it.
For retailers and product manufacturers, the benefits of these types of secured displays are readily apparent:
Reduced shrinkage and theft deterrence
Enhanced customer experience
Better inventory control
Improved safety and security for employees and customers
As retail loss prevention concerns continue to grow, Hammond says that Acrylic Design Associates is ready to help. “We encourage retailers and brands to contact us with their challenges,” said Hammond. “Based on our experience, we can develop innovative solutions that help reduce loss. Where applicable, we can even use sustainable materials like Recrylic® certified recycled acrylic to help achieve sustainability goals at the same time.”