What is electronic article2021-05-31T23:04:20-04:00

What is Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS)?

January 8th, 2013

Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) is a technological method for preventing shoplifting in retail stores, libraries, and other businesses where merchandise is on display.  Sensor Tags or Sensor Labels are fixed to merchandise and are removed or deactivated by personnel when the merchandise is properly bought or checked out.  At building exits, detection systems are installed that will sound an alarm or alert the staff when an active tag or label that has not been removed or deactivated passes through the exit.  Apparel retailers were the first to begin using EAS products to protect their merchandise in the mid 1970’s.  Apparel was the first type of merchandise to be tagged, because the hard plastic security tags were introduced well before the adhesive paper security labels.  In addition, Loss Prevention executives wanted more visible and substantial looking tags on the merchandise to deter shoplifting as much as possible.  Sensormatic, which is now a division of TYCO, and Checkpoint Systems Inc. were the pioneers of EAS technology back then.

There are many different types of Security Tags, Security Labels, Tag Removers, Label Deactivators, and Detections on the market.  For example, Sensormatic offers their Ultra Max brand of EAS products that operate at the Acousto-Magnetic (AM) frequency of 58 KHz.  Checkpoint brand products, on the other hand, are 8.2 MHz Radio-Frequency (RF) based products.  Along with these 2 predominant frequencies, there are many different styles of Sensor Tags and Sensor Labels.  Sensormatic has their SuperTags, UltraGators, and UltraTags, while Checkpoint has their Mini Tags, Postage Stamp Labels, and EP Labels.  ALL-TAG, the second largest global RF Security Label manufacturer, is a unique EAS company in that they offer products that are compatible with both Sensormatic and Checkpoint.  ALL-TAG is less concerned with what type of products they want to promote, and more concerned with what type of products are best suited for their customers’ specific needs.  This affords retailers and other businesses with an EAS product source with far more options and competitive pricing.

Along the way, many other products have been introduced to help retailers deter shoplifting and protect specialty items.  Ink Tags or Ink Pins have been a very popular EAS solution since the 1980’s, because they offer a very cost-effective method of deterring theft.  Ink Tags can also be used in conjunction with Sensor Tags to provide a double measure of protection against shoplifting.  Some other examples of EAS innovations are Spider Wraps, Bottle Tags, 3-Alarm Tags, Jewelry Tags, and Cable Locks.

In the late 1990’s, a new tagging concept called Source-Tagging started gaining popularity.  Source Tagging is a very efficient, cost-saving process where product manufacturers and packagers strategically position RF or AM Security Labels on products before shipping them to retail stores.  Both retailers and product manufacturers benefit from source tagging in many ways.  Disposable Hard Tags called Visible Source Tags (VST) and Sew-In Tags are also widely used these days to source-tag apparel.  The latest and potentially the greatest Source-Tagging concept is EAS Tag Recirculation™.  Based upon the model successfully implemented for clothes hangers, apparel manufactures can affix any type of reusable Sensor Tag on apparel at the factory level so that the apparel is tagged and “floor-ready” when it arrives at the various retail store locations.  The Sensor Tags are removed at the point-of-sale, collected by the company offering the recirculation service, sent to a processing center for repackaging, and sent back to the apparel manufacturers for another round.

For most retailers, Source-Tagging will most likely be the only method that will justify the cost of EAS product procurement moving forward.  In addition to Source-Tagging, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) will also play an important role in preventing theft in the future.  It is not yet completely clear, but the current consensus is that Electronic Article Surveillance and RFID technologies will be combined to provide a single solution for tracking products through the supply chain, maintaining proper inventory levels, protecting merchandise from shoplifting, and much more.

UltraStrip, UltraGator, UltraTag, UltraMax, SuperTag and Sensormatic are registered trademarks ® of Tyco.  ALL-Tag is not affiliated with Tyco.  ALL-Tag is not affiliated with Checkpoint. 

We sell products that are compatible with Sensormatic products, preowned (used) Sensormatic products, and never been used Sensormatic products.

 

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