As the COVID pandemic continues in the United States of America, it is an unfortunate truth that shoplifting and theft have hit an all-time high. It is important that you know how to handle this situation, and that you have the hardware to protect you. But do you know what that means, and how to go about getting it?
This article will introduce you to the idea of AM retail tags. By the end of the article, you should have an idea of what AM tags are and what you should be buying to protect your store's property.
What Are AM Hard Tags?
The functional part of Acousto-Magnetic tags, or AM tags, comprises two strips of metal. When a special detector bombards these tags with a specific frequency of EM radiation, they will start to vibrate. This vibration occurs at a specific frequency that a receiver antenna can pick up.
Because of the magnetic nature of the strip, you must activate it before use. You activate it by magnetizing the strip itself, allowing it to respond to the field given off by the tag detectors.
Similarly, you can deactivate the tags by running them past a device that causes them to demagnetize. This is useful for security purposes as it prevents them from activating before or after they should be active. You can then move them around the store without the fear of false alarms.
AM retail tags tend to exist within 3D plastic tags. These tags are sometimes large enough to be very visible as a deterrent. At other times, they are small enough to hide inside other items.
They are not small enough to hide inside a book or attach to a small piece of jewelry, though.
How Can AM Tags Help Loss Prevention?
There are several ways in which having acousto-magnetic tags are helpful for loss prevention in a retail environment. We have listed some of them below:
Deterrent: Not all methods of preventing theft include interacting directly with a criminal. You can prevent many thefts by presenting the idea that it would be too much effort for a potential thief.
Having a visible AM tag on a piece of clothing, for example, would cause a thief to think again about what they plan to do. It would show the thief that they would not only need to get it past a security detector but remove the tag after the theft.
Detection: If a thief decides to go through the process of stealing the product, they would need to get it out of the store. They would also need to do so without the detectors not triggering an alarm. This would be very difficult and any security close to them would be able to stop potential thieves.
Proof: After a theft, you may be in a position where you must prove that someone has a stolen item on them without being able to search them. By asking an individual to pass through a detector, you can give enough proof to a police officer to give them reasonable suspicion of theft. You can use this to reclaim stolen property.
What Are the AM Tag Types?
Several items can help with electronic article surveillance (or EAS). The following is a list of the primary AM tag types that are available for sale and use from Sensornation.
These are small, plain tags that you can attach to any flat surface. They are perfect for use with large items that do not curve or bend. This includes books, DVDs, or many cosmetics.
Due to their small size, these sensors are ideal to secrete away on an item's surface, such as in a corner. You can then activate or deactivate them without hassle.
Due to their small form factor, they can even hide inside many items. A DVD case that you can open may have one of these placed inside before resealing it. You can then place the item back on the shelf without it someone being able to tell you have secured it, for example.
They also have a small cost, being approximately five cents per individual label. This allows you to make use of them in situations where someone may discard them after buying them.
The narrow Ultrastrip Sensormatic tags have a fantastic deactivation performance. This allows you to rest assured that they will not cause many false positives. You can thus get on with work without needing to face possible interruptions from alarms sounding.
Each of these labels is only 45.2mm x 10.67mm x 1.89mm. They are small enough for you to be able to carry a large number of them around with you during the stock-taking process.
These are darker versions of the Ultrastrip as mentioned above. These have every benefit of the original Ultrastrip but due to their darker color may be harder to find for potential would-be thieves.
The size and shape of the Ultrastrips are perfect for placing them on flat surfaces. They can adhere with ease to items such as pharmaceuticals or CD cases, meaning you can have the assurance that those items will be much harder to steal.
As these items retail in connected sheets of up to five thousand labels, you can move them around in bulk. This allows an employee to carry a large quantity of these labels with them during the stock-taking and deployment process. You can apply them to items fast, and their application should not interfere with the process of moving products.
The ease by which you can activate and deactivate the Ultrastrip is also a boon. If you intend to move a lot of products off of the shelf, into storage, or into the disposal, you can demagnetize these items without too much of a problem. Similarly, when applying the tags you can do so in a way where you activate them without a lot of hassle.
The Ultragator's primary purpose outside of the realm of magnetic detection is its pure visibility. Its large form factor and bright color allow people to see it from a significant distance. This can dissuade many thieves from considering the item with this attached to be worth their time to attempt to steal.
This tag's name comes from the "Ultramax" technology used in its construction. This form of acousto-magnetic technology operates at 58 kHz, a lot higher than many other systems. These components assist the tag in circumventing attempts to prevent the tag from setting off alarms.
Tests have shown that it can continue to respond to a detection system even when placed in aluminum foil-lined bags. This means that a potential theft is likely to fail even when they prepare for the event.
Finally, these tags need a physical device to open them. This makes them more secure than magnetically-released tags on the market. A thief cannot thus find a magnet with the same capabilities as a security release magnet and remove the tags themselves.
The Ultragator is 3.75 inches by 1.1 inches by 0.74 inches. This is a sizeable tag that advertises its competence at ensuring an item is secure through its size alone.
The Supertag III is a hard tag with a smaller form factor than the Ultragator. It is also reusable, which allows you to not need to worry about replacing it once you have removed it. It will, though, mean you need to be more aware of replacing them if they disappear from your store for any reason.
You cannot remove these Supertags without using a physical pin. Much like the Ultragator, you cannot deactivate them using a homemade magnetic system. This means that unless the thief prepares by making or bringing in this specific pin they will remain secure at all times.
Because of how the Supertag clips together, you can secure it to many different items from heavy clothing to light underclothes. It is also unlikely to damage these items when attached or removed.
The Supertag's bold, unique shape offers a strong visual identity. This allows potential thieves to see it from across an aisle or even further away, deterring them from potential theft.
Like the Supertag III, the Supertag II is a solid white tag with a pin attachment method. It is often used to attach to clothing that people are likely to steal, such as delicate undergarments or expensive outerwear.
After you have armed the Supertag II by connecting the tack to its hole, it becomes tamper-proof. This means that should someone remove the tack without using an authorized device, an alarm will sound. This alarm will not stop until it runs out of power.
This can prevent theft if someone is attempting to remove the tag while in the store. It can also deter future thefts if someone attempts to remove the tag at home.
These tags are best used by inserting the tack's pin through the seam of a garment. This gives it the strongest method of securing the item against the piece of clothing's fabric.
You (and thieves) will then be unable to remove the tack from the tag until using a specific detacher. Having more than one of these items can assist your store with processing tags in a fast and effective manner.
The original Supertag is a solid white tag much like its successors. It can attach to similar clothing materials much like the Supertag II and III and works via the use of a pin holding it in place.
It requires a specific detacher to remove it from the items you attach it to. This prevents tampering and allows you to have the assurance it will remain in place until you purposely remove it on purpose.
The Supertag is 3.4" by 1.2" by 0.74" and comes in a light gray color.
Stylus AM Tag
The Stylus AM tag has a different form factor from previous tags. Its lightweight design allows you to slip it inside boxes or use it within tamperproof display cases for high-theft items.
You can activate the Stylus AM tag using a pin that can also double as a clothing pin. This means it can attach to clothes and act as a clothing security tag.
Its small size at 2" long and 0.5" wide means that it is not very noticeable. You can thus use it on items that must keep their aesthetic appearance or are particularly small without ruining their look.
Also, the Stylus AM tag can forgo the pin attachment and instead use a lanyard. This allows the item to attach to harder items that are unyielding. Examples of products that are often secured using this tag include glass bottles, large items of hardware, or bicycles.
Bottlex AM Tag
Alcoholic drinks are a high-theft item in stores across the country. For this reason, the retail industry must face that danger with a tamper-proof security tag. The Bottlex AM Tag is the perfect solution to this problem.
The design of the Bottlex AM Tag means that you can secure it to glass or thick plastic bottles while preventing damage to the bottle itself. You can then not remove the tag without the use of a specialist magnetic detacher.
The Bottlex AM Tag is also designed not to interfere with the bottle's aesthetic. It does not cover the item's primary brand sticker or sleeve, meaning a customer is still able to read the details of what they wish to buy.
Where Can I Go to Find Out More?
You should now have a comprehensive understanding of what AM Tags are available on the market and how to find one that suits your needs. If you continue to have questions, though, you should feel free to get in contact with us at Sensormatic.
Our specialists are on hand to discuss your needs for tags with you and help you on your next step in purchasing. You need only pick up the phone and give us a call, and we would be happy to help.