A retail or wholesale store customer may not know exactly what EAS or Electronic Article Surveillance means, but they have likely noticed the presence of antennas at store entrances, in various models. These sensors, also known as anti-theft antennas, are classic and essential tools for the retail industry and aim to prevent losses. We know the purpose of this technology, but do you know how it works?

What is EAS or Electronic Article Surveillance?

Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) is a tool that specializes in preventing losses like shoplifting, minimizing billions in annual retail losses.

It consists of a system of labels and alarms that, together, detect possible thefts of goods. The deactivators and decouplers, positioned in the boxes of the stores, are also part of the solution.

But how do anti-theft systems work?

The duo, antenna and anti-theft label, always work in conjunction to prevent theft. The label or tag, attached to the merchandise to be protected, remains on the item until the time of purchase. After the customer purchases the article, the label is removed or deactivated directly at the cashier, using the deactivators and decouplers. This is the standard procedure of a purchase in stores that use anti-theft systems to protect their products.

The anti-theft antennas emit a signal that spreads in a specific radius, according to the type of equipment and assembly configuration. It is this signal emission between transmitting and receiving antennas that ensures that anti-theft labels are detected if they are not removed or deactivated at the time of purchase at the checkout counter.

What if the tag is not removed or deactivated before leaving the store?

EAS Anti-theft tag n a bottle

If the label has not been removed or deactivated when the product leaves the store, the anti-theft antennas come into action: They are located at the exit point of the store and will emit a visual and/or audible alarm, warning that a potential theft is taking place in real time. With this alarm, you can verify the occurrence and prevent possible theft in your store. Plus, the presence of anti-theft antennas on store doors represents a major inhibition factor. Upon realizing that the store has anti-theft systems, potential thieves are more likely to direct their actions towards unprotected stores.

Intelligent EAS: The New Generation of Anti-Theft Systems

Anti-theft antennas and tags (EAS), like other tools, have also evolved over time. A whole new generation of anti-theft systems has emerged with the era of IoT (Internet of Things) and Big Data, creating what we call Intelligent EAS or EASi. The antennas, now connected to the internet, give retailers the ability to collect and generate organized data from the daily operation of the tool. With access to this data and the possibility of integration with other technologies, retailers can work more effectively and securely.

EASi - Smart EAS developed by Inwave

The connection of EAS systems to the web brings various benefits, such as:

  • Access to antenna indicators: the quantity of alarms and their type (Metal Alarm, EAS Alarm, and deactivation).
  • Access to deactivator indicators, allowing for better planning of tag purchases and item management.
  • Integration with other technologies, such as the store's CCTV, allowing for analysis of alarm events to improve processes.
  • Support for team training with real cases from the store.
  • Monitoring of indicators after implementing an action plan to reduce unidentified losses.
  • Benchmarking among network stores and with other retailers, regarding indicators, such as the percentage of possible occurrences relative to the total alarms and the performance of the on-site loss prevention professional.

Investing in technologies and tools that aid in the fight against theft has proven to be increasingly necessary.