Hardtags in retail security
Hardtags are devices that are fastened to goods and products. The devices use Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) systems which are detected by antennas, and can only be removed by the cashier after purchase. As a result, the EAS system, which is to be positioned at a proper distance from the check-out counter, will not activate an alarm signal. However, if the tags are not removed or deactivated upon leaving the store, and they get close enough to the EAS while still attached to the product, the antenna will detect the sensors within its range with a sound and light signal, alerting the store of an attempted theft. This allows the staff or security guard to take immediate action.
Hardtags are bigger in size and more effective than labels or soft tags. Shoplifters are unable to remove the devices themselves. If the item is removed from the store, the EAS antenna will alert the staff immediately. Their use is also more cost-efficient than labels or soft tags because they may be reactivated and reused.
Hardtags come in a variety of sizes and designs to meet all the needs and requirements of the retail market. There are narrow, light, round and oblong-shaped hardtags and ones with steel fibers. They are easy to install and remove by using the proper tool. Some hard tags are equipped with magnetic pin locks while others have simple magnetic locks or mechanical locks installed to them. Desktop, manual or built-in openers are used to remove them.
Additionally, hardtags can be used to protect high-value alcoholic beverages; however, they are often applied as an anti-theft method in apparel stores. Hardtags are fastened to articles of clothing and their removal, without using the proper tool, can damage goods, making them unsuitable for use. For instance, ink tags may be used to protect clothing articles. The tags secured to the product contain bright colour ink which may leak from the container if the hardtag is not removed properly. If the opener designed for this special purpose is used to remove the tag, its removal is safe, the ink container will not be damaged and the product will remain intact. The advantage of this solution is that it does not require the installation of a separate alarm system. Also, it may be implemented using a relatively low budget and the cost of operation is minimal.
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