DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Shoplifting: How to prevent ‘blind spots’ in the store layout

BY John Mangiameli

Though many types of theft deterrent equipment exist, one of the most effective and affordable approaches is preventing retail shoplifting is by avoiding “blind spots” in the store layout.

In this regard, one of the hardest places for supermarket or mass merchandise cashiers to control and easily view has been under the shopping basket, which is usually blocked by a basketful of other items above it. Failing to ring up items under the basket before customers leave the store can be extremely costly to retailers.

To prevent such losses, one nationally recognized mass-market retailer has already installed over 90,000 bottom-of-the basket (BOB) mirrors in an effort to limit this type of shrinkage in their business. The inventive mirrors are comprised of lightweight acrylic and the mirror mounts opposite the standing cashier to provide a clear, unobstructed view of the bottom of the cart without requiring the cashier to move or stoop, which also expedites checkout.

Endless Options

To accommodate a range of needs, many additional mirror and dome options are available as well. This range includes various mirror and dome sizes, shapes, and angles of visibility. Compared to conventional glass mirrors, shatter resistant acrylic mirrors are much more durable, lightweight, and fade-proof with top quality metalizing.

Specialized mirrors and domes can also help to eliminate the visual blind spots that occur at retail aisle corners, intersections, and other locations of big-box “warehouse style” stores where collisions between forklifts and employees or customers is possible.

For instance, convex detection mirrors have wide-angle visibility, while presenting a 20% brighter image than glass mirrors for greater clarity. A recently developed hybrid convex-dome mirror can even provide three times the viewing area of standard convex mirrors when a wider viewing angle is required.

Mirrored domes in a variety of configurations can provide the greatest visibility around corners and anywhere the widest unobstructed view is necessary. Quarter domes (90&deg provide viewing for corner intersections, 180&deg mirrored half domes improve viewing at T-intersections, 270&deg mirrored domes enable viewing in all directions (when mounted on an outside corner of a 4-way intersection), and 360&deg mirrored domes enhance viewing at 4-way or circular intersections.

When theft deterrence is the primary focus in retail environments with grid ceilings, specialized, darkened domes and globes can be positioned and mounted with surveillance camera inside, or left empty. Shoplifters, who will not know which domes are “live” will be discouraged from stealing regardless, and will be caught on video when cameras are used.

While retailers will continue to fight inventory loss with a variety of techniques, they do not want to miss out on innovations in mirror and dome technology that could help cost effectively curtail theft.


John Mangiameli is executive VP at Se-Kure Controls. Se-Kure Domes &amp Mirrors is a wholly owned subsidiary of Se-Kure Controls, and is a manufacturer of domes and mirrors for retail applications including bottom-of-the-basket and convex mirrors, as well as smoky globes and domes for surveillance systems.

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INVENTORY

A Gap brand reaches for the cloud

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A specialty retailer is streamlining its merchandising operations.

Gap's Intermix division has become the company's first brand to transition to the cloud. The upscale specialty retailer is leveraging Oracle’s cloud-based platform to drive efficiencies across merchandising and inventory management. The platform supports end-to-end operational efficiencies and empowers the business teams among specialty apparel company Intermix.

By moving Intermix to the cloud, the brand will simplify operations and maintain a consistent merchandising platform. The platform will also enable the chain to take advantage of the dynamic, modern functionality and technology offered in the Oracle Retail Cloud Service.

For example, the technology synchronizes end-to-end merchandising operations from buying to inventory valuation — driving a single version of the truth. Daily tasks, such as purchase order approval and sales auditing, also become more efficient since they are supported by exception-based dashboard notifications and alerts.

Both companies worked in tandem to deploy the solution from strategic planning to go-live. Both teams collaborated on the project and tackled any challenges that arose throughout the process, according to Gap.

“This investment marks the first step on a journey to adopting cloud technology across our global operations,” said Paul Chapman, CIO, Gap.

“We chose Oracle Retail Cloud Services to synchronize our global initiatives and deliver state of the art functionality to Intermix,” Chapman said. “The Intermix team is inspired by the potential of the solutions. They look forward to new capabilities and insights delivered by the Oracle Retail solutions.”

In addition to Intermix, Gap Inc. also operates the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Weddington Way brands.

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FINANCE

Department store retailer’s attempt to go private stalls

BY CSA STAFF

Nordstrom may not be going private anytime soon.

Attempts by the Nordstrom family to take Nordstrom private have stalled over financing difficulties, reported CNBC. According to the report, banks have become cautious amid today's unstable retail climate.

The Nordstrom family group owns 31.2% of Nordstrom. In June, the family said it was exploring a possible buy-out.

Click here to read the full report.

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