Wanzl offers effective protection against inventory differences

Efficient prevention measures and intelligent security systems for the retail sector

From 4.1 billion euros to 4.6 billion euros – inventory differences in the retail sector increased enormously in 2022. This is compared to 2021 especially, when coronavirus measures were in place, but also to the years before the pandemic. According to the current EHI study “Inventory differences 2023,” customer theft continues to be the main cause of inventory differences. Self-service stores in particular place new security requirements on operators. Preventive measures are required. As a renowned partner, Wanzl offers retailers a wide range of effective solutions against inventory differences.

Protection against inventory differences in staff-free self-service stores

According to Frank Horst, Head of Security Research and Inventory Differences at EHI Retail, the basic rule is that “insufficient staffing facilitates theft due to a lack of store monitoring.” Autonomous solutions are therefore in demand, especially in staff-free 24/7 stores. In addition to the usual precautions such as security cameras and goods security systems with an alarm function, check-in and check-out processes via gates are an important instrument for goods security. Both the actual physical barrier and an active log-in process as well as the confirmation of the paid purchase before leaving the store effectively prevent theft.

For this reason, 24/7 concepts from Wanzl only allow access to stores after digital authentication, for example by customer, debit or credit card, or using an app, at an entry system. Fully automatic gate solutions such as the Galaxy Port or the Galaxy Gate 1.1 access gate from Wanzl control access using intelligent sensor technology. Items that have a particularly high value are made completely inaccessible during staff-free operation either in a separate area or by means of a roller shutter system. The self-checkout is also secured with state-of-the-art camera technology and an obligation to scan the purchase receipt at the gate to exit. Given the acute staff shortages, fully automated check-in and check-out processes can also help retailers fight inventory differences while staff are not present.

Innovative security solution for self-checkout zones

Self-checkout zones are now an integral part of modern stores that speed up the payment process for customers. To prevent theft and unscanned goods, many stores use random receipt checks and receipt scans at the exit. The Wanzl Smart Exit is revolutionizing security in self-checkout areas by using artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art sensor technology. The AI sensor system scans and verifies every customer step at the checkout – from product registration to leaving the store – and communicates with cameras and gate systems. wanzl connect® enables processes to be controlled and monitored centrally. The cloud-based software platform acts as a store manager and provides a modular, digital toolbox for the real-time control and analysis of all processes in the store.

Effective preventive measures at the entrance, in retail spaces, and the checkout area

According to the EHI study “Inventory differences 2023,” every 200th shopping cart leaves a retail store without ever being paid for. Simple security measures can be taken in the entrance area with regard to customer guidance so that the shop has to be exited via the checkout area. Entrance systems such as the state-of-the-art eGate from Wanzl control access to the store areas by opening their automatic swivel arms in only one direction. This ensures that people cannot use the entrance to leave the store again. Any attempts at manipulation of the system will trigger an alarm.

The system is individually adaptable and fits perfectly into any store concept. Partitions such as the Railix® from Wanzl prevent people from discreetly leaving the store area, steer customer flows, and can be optimally adapted to the corporate design. A sophisticated structuring of the checkout area is also key, as this is where around another 17 percent of inventory differences occur, according to the EHI study. The use of the Wanzl Checkout Manager Pro checkout guidance system in combination with the mGate enables precise coordination of processes and customer flows. Whether it is the version with a toughened safety glass swivel arm, the “Classic” barrier, or high swivel arms that cannot be climbed over, the gates have an anti-theft effect. In addition, the system ensures that customers only pass through checkouts with staff, as unmanned checkouts are automatically blocked. Attempts at manipulation are immediately alerted by an alarm.