Scan Avoidance Tech Saves 2 Grocers Bundles of Cash

Scan avoidance technology is helping two grocers to cut their losses at both the manned and self-checkout, particularly with larger crowds during the holidays.

“We were astonished at what a difference this technology has made,” says Doug Haworth, director of loss prevention at Woods Supermarkets, a Sedalia, Mo.-based grocery chain that has deployed StopLift Checkout Vision Systems. He said that scan avoidance technology saved Woods nearly $250,000 in 2011, the first year of its deployment. In 2012 and 2013, loss was minimal.

Haworth said the Stoplift ScanItAll detection technology is giving him and his eight store managers easy access to information on checkout shrink at all of its locations and significantly improving the performance of its cashiers.

“We’ve used the StopLift video to coach and train our cashiers, and they change their behavior,” he said.

According to the National Retail Federation, retail shrink was $34.5 billion in 2012. Supermarkets, with their far lower profit margins, are particularly vulnerable to sweethearting, which has accounted for an almost 35 percent profit loss industry-wide.

Vicente’s Tropical Foods, Brockton, Mass., another Stoplift systems grocery customer, saved $75,000 at its one store in 2012 with the technology, according to Brian Vicente, front end manager. Like Haworth, Vicente was stunned at how many groceries were not being paid for at the checkout.

When StopLift was first installed at Vicente’s, the Stoplift video caught two cashiers stealing. Other cashiers were making money-costing errors such as missing scans. Vincente said the technology helps prevent both situations from happening.

Retail chains, including supermarkets, have installed StopLift video recognition technology on four continents, including Tesco in the UK. According to the vendor, it has already detected and confirmed nearly 800,000 incidents.

StopLift’s Scan-It-All system was developed to spot incidents of scan-avoidance, where merchandise is not scanned or rung up before being given to the customer. This includes incidents which could be mistakes by the cashier or customer at self-checkout as well as items left in the shopping cart.

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