Q&A: Troels Falkenberg, Director, Global Business Development, Checkpoint Systems
Checkpoint Systems is the only vertically integrated RF/RFID solution provider for retail, delivering software, hardware, labels, tags and connected cloud-based solutions. It is a global leader in EAS, RF and RFID technology for loss prevention solutions across a diverse range of markets including apparel, grocery, electronics, DIY, Health and Beauty, Logistics and Healthcare.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
My background and commercial expertise is in B2B software sold as SaaS, and I have in-depth experience working with several companies in my career, most of which have been merged into larger corporations. I am now Director for Global Business Development at Checkpoint Systems, in charge of expansion into new markets.
UK retailers are facing unprecedented levels of theft, what do you think is a big challenge ?
Open most newspapers and industry reports and they are all stating that theft from Organised Retail Crime (ORC), is without doubt one of the biggest challenges for retailers. The British Retail Consortium reported that shop thefts have more than doubled in the past three years, costing retailers over £953m a year.
If we look at one specific area of vulnerability in ‘bricks and mortar’ stores, there is a very high level of theft occurring in fitting rooms. It is a difficult issue for retailers as fitting rooms offer their customers space and privacy to try on garments before they buy, but they also present an ideal place for theft, out of sight of store personnel and CCTV cameras. In this situation, shoplifters may attempt to remove the security tag devices by using stolen or black-market magnetic detachers.
What specific solutions in Checkpoint Systems are you spearheading to combat this and what might retailers not know about these solutions that can help them?
Checkpoint uses market-leading metal detection and magnet detection solutions, which are technology agnostic (AM and RF). The hardware and the software platform are browser based and all configurations etc. can be done remotely, even from your ‘phone.
The information generated from these can be used for data mining and AI is integrated in order to understand the installations and various locations. All installations are combined with EAS, so the solutions work together, bringing even greater value for the retailer as they can provide more information, for example, on where ORC threats are entering the store.
What is special about these solutions and what are their ‘USPs’?
Checkpoint provides Metalguard™, which detects booster bags; and Hyperguard™, which detects both Booster bags without activating the alarm if metal trolleys/carts are used, for example, in supermarkets.
A valuable USP for retailers is being able to identify a potential thief before a theft occurs. This can facilitate less confrontation and assist customer service, as store personnel can respond to a Booster bag alarm, before a theft occurs.
How does a retailer implement these solutions?
Using Metalguard™ and Hyperguard™, detectors are placed alongside the EAS system deployed at a store entrance. When a Booster bag is brought into a store, it sends a discreet real-time alert to store staff via an app on IOS or Android. Retail personnel are then able to assess the risk and determine what actions to take. Store Operations can be integrated as a monitoring and data collection platform for post-analysis purposes; for example, providing alarm trends and occurrence times.
Metalguard™ and Hyperguard™ can be integrated into Checkpoint’s EAS Systems Evolve™ and NEO™ or can be used as stand-alone sensors.
You also mentioned that shoplifters bring illegal magnets into stores, how can these be identified?
Checkpoint also offers Apparelguard™, a technology agnostic solution for detecting and deterring the use of illegal magnets in store. Apparelguard™ works by placing discreet magnet detectors at the entrance to a fitting room and each cubicle has a detector placed in it.
When a potential shoplifter enters a fitting room with a hidden magnetic device, the system registers it and if the tag is removed with a detacher, store personnel are alerted via an app on IOS or Android, while the shoplifter is still in the fitting room.
Apparelguard™ enables remote device monitoring and is compatible with the store’s operations. Retailers are seeing tangible benefits from this excellent deterrent and detection tool for illegal tag removal.
Any final thoughts?
As consumers are returning to ‘bricks and mortar’ stores, retailers need to deploy the best loss prevention solutions to counteract the clear and present danger of ORC. Checkpoint Systems works with some of the leading international retailers, and we see first-hand the ROI on investment to them by protecting their products with our leading technology solutions, of which Metalguard™ and Hyperguard™ are good examples.