The Concept Tag, well received at Retail Fraud Dubai

Tim Edwards

The Concept Tag continues to receive much attention around the retail world, this time from key retailers at the Retail Fraud event in Dubai.

Tim Edwards, Group Loss Control Director at JD Sports Fashion Plc presented “The Concept Tag Revolution” to an audience keen to ensure Dubai retains its global leadership in the retail sector in the coming years;

“About 30 years ago, the introduction of EAS tagging promised retailers a simple, dependable and affordable way to track their assets; to prevent the unauthorised removal of goods from their retail establishments. To foil shoplifters; opportunist or professional.

And we, all of us, bought into the vision that the EAS tagging solution would be the panacea to our shoplifting problems.

And for a little while it was. At the time we bought into the system, it did indeed bring a multitude of loss prevention benefits. But the passage of time has seen the advantages created by EAS systems in the fight against crime gradually eroded.

I think we are now at the point where we have to admit that EAS tagging no longer provides an effective, let alone cost effective way to protect our stock. The fact of the matter is that the criminal fraternity is now better able to defeat our tagging systems than ever before and to date there has been no credible alternative; no meaningful response from the tagging industry.

But today, that is all changing…

Today I am going to show you how JD Sports have worked with an independent manufacturer to help develop a new tag. One that we believe will successfully address the shortcomings of current tagging systems and drives crime out of our stores.

Today I am sharing with you the result of several years of research and development to produce a cost effective system, one which should produce rapid ROI; potentially in less than 18 months.

Today I am going to introduce you to a system that we at JD sports have found redresses the balance between retailers and criminals; claws back the advantage that EAS tags once offered and substantially reduces loss from shoplifting…”

As part of the presentation, retailers in the audience were then invited to see and test samples of The Concept Tag for themselves.

“I would like to introduce you to The Concept Tag

Some time ago Agon systems approached JD Sports to become a partner in an effective practical cost effective EAS tagging solution. Agon has many years of experience in producing EAS systems and, at the time JD Sports was Agon’s largest direct retail client.

In April of this year we have undertaken a trial of 15,000 tags in one of our flagship stores. Over an 18 month period we have worked with the manufacturer, providing feedback and helping to make some important changes to further enhance the performance and now we feel we have a tried and tested product that is ready to be rolled out across our estate.

Results of the trial are still being compiled. However, what we can say for certain is that we have seen a very significant drop in instances of illicit tag removal. We no longer find bits of removed tags in store; the potential for a health and safety issue has also gone. In fact we have been able to track a displacement of crime from this store to another one of our stores nearby, clearly demonstrating that this tagging system is capable of pushing shoplifters out of our business and on to somewhere else.

How is The Concept Tag different from other tags?

The Concept Tag is the first RF tag in the world to not use magnetic releases. The system uses a unique electronic power releaser. It requires mains power. So no longer can thieves come into a store with a releaser in their pocket and illicitly remove tags. The availability of releasers is tightly controlled. They are only available from one approved source. They are manufactured by a European company and given to approved distributors only.

The product requires more than 50 kilos of force to remove it. It cannot simply be pulled off. The tag incorporates 3 vials of different coloured inks. These deploy if the tag is forced off, making any garment unsaleable; even if removed at the criminal’s home with all the time in the world. There is a burn safe prevention in-built.

The system is Danish in design and of Swiss manufacture, made to the highest standards. The tags use high quality coils and capacitors and ABS to ensure strong performance

Early indications are that, whilst the cost per unit is a little greater, the ROI that the system provides makes it a very cost effective solution, with anticipated ROI of within 18 months expected.

I am very excited by the opportunity The Concept Tag has given us as a business, to drive criminals out of our stores and down the road, displacing the crime and clawing back the advantage we once had.”

Tim Edwards, Group Loss Control Director at JD Sports Fashion Plc

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