You may notice something new the next time you go in…or walk out…of your local Hy-Vee grocery store.The Iowa-based Hy-Vee foodstore chain’s installing metal gateways, a theft-prevention system just like the ones you see at the library or video store. Hy-Vee’s Ruth Mitchell explains the store will put sensor patches in merchandise. Some manufacturers put a sensor inside, and if it goes through the tower without being de-sensitized at the register, it sets off a beeper. Mitchell says the theft-proofing system may not be applied to every one of the thousands of items in the store.For the most part the sensors are on higher-ticket items: videos, liquor and health products, like diabetes and pregnancy testing kits. Mitchell also says hi-cost bodybuilders’ supplements and expensive cuts of meat are items targeted frequently by shoplifters. Mitchell says “loss control” or preventing theft is a priority for all retail shopkeepers, and especially in an industry where profit margins are slim.Nonfood items are marked up more, food less, but overall the supermarket profit margin’s around one percent. Though installing “security towers” and putting sensors on merchandise may take a bit of work, Mitchell says in the end it will make shopping more convenient.Items that are normally kept under lock-and-key can now be left out for consumers to choose off a shelf, without fear they’ll be stolen. Some Hy-Vee stores have had the anti-theft system in place for some time now, they were just put into Omaha stores, and right now they’re being installed in metro Des Moines Hy-Vee stores.
You are here: / / Store turns to technology to cut theft