Modern Retail

Watch or Catch: The debate between CCTV and EAS

security camera

There has always been the discussion between the believers in CCTV and the believers in EAS as to which is the more effective in the ongoing security fight against the losses in retail.

In-fact there should not be any argument between the use of the two technologies as they are divergent and complimentary. Whilst CCTV is used for people counting, general surveillance and monitoring of the till areas, all of the information has to be overseen by a person to get an immediate reaction to any occurrence or alternatively you can view the recording at your leisure to watch what happened.

Don’t get me wrong, CCTV is highly capable and a lot of development has taken place to achieve high definition, low-light capability, people counting and many more facilities. Contrast this with the relatively low amount of development that has been spent on all EAS technologies.


All Tag CCTV security

The main two technologies RF(8.2mHz) and AM(58kHz) have been improved through remote connectivity, integrated metal detection and people counting being added over the years.

The big difference between CCTV and EAS is that the EAS system alerts to an attempted theft as it happens.

This enables actions to be taken by staff and alarm outputs to the CCTV system mean the event can also be captured in real time on the CCTV.

There is no doubt that both technologies are required in this modern age to counter the ever-increasing resourcefulness of the thief. The cost of implementing either technology can vary substantially depending upon the complexity of the overall system required.

Reducing the cost of EAS and increasing the security of the supply chain.

Source Tagging

To reduce the cost of applying the tags to products, many retailers are requesting that their suppliers apply the tags at source. As source tagging specialists, ALL-TAG work closely with manufacturers and packagers to determine the right position of either the RF or AM label and in some cases both, so that optimum detection is obtained from the EAS system. Invisibility, tamper resistance and ease of deactivation at the till point all aid the reduction in cost for the retailer.

The development of smaller RF labels with a higher Q factor (better detection), enable retailers to maximise the marketing potential on the packaging yet still have optimum detection and deactivation from a label. This can allow the label to be up to 25% smaller in footprint than its traditional counterpart. This allows for more types of product to be tagged and thus protected against potential theft. The labels are applied at high speed by machines and to avoid the build-up of static that could affect the quality or reliability of the label, ALL-TAG have developed a Black Static Line (BSL) on the back of the liner thus removing this potential problem. These high speed labels should not be confused with some lower quality hand applied labels.

Having the tags applied at source gives the following benefits:

  • reduces the costs associated with instore tagging
  • allows store staff to spend more time servicing customers
  • tags are placed uniformly thus reducing time searching at the till point
  • products can be moved directly to the sales floor ready tagged
  • products can be displayed more openly

EAS Tag Recirculation

Source tagging is one way of improving both security and reducing costs. A further way is to have EAS Tag Recirculation™ which is playing a increasing role in the evolution of retail logistics and loss prevention.

store room with boxes for retail


Retailers are looking to move the act of EAS tagging to the most economical point in the logistics chain – out of the store and back toward where the merchandise is manufactured.

Enterprising early adopters, such as Kohl’s, Gap, Zara and bebe have proven that EAS Tag Recirculation™ provides important benefits, including:

  • Predictable cost of operating an EAS program
  • No capital requirements for additional EAS tags
  • Merchandise arrives at store tagged, secure and floor ready
  • More tagging consistency, less apparel damage
  • Maximum tagging protection during peak trading periods
  • No customer issues with tag pollution, when un-deactivated EAS sewn-in labels set off alarms
  • No environmental issues caused by the non-degradable components of disposable labels
  • More security and better shortage reduction results than with sewn-in or disposable EAS labels
  • Cash rebates for the return of tags and pins.

By implementing EAS Tag Recirculation, retailers achieve higher levels of efficiency and customer satisfaction through a sustainable, innovative programme spearheaded by their loss prevention department in conjunction with All-Tag.

Modern Retail

Modern Retail

Advice & inspiration to help retailers grow...