More than ever, preventing shoplifting in retail stores has to be thought of as an absolute priority. According to the 2023 National Retail Safety Survey published by NRF, the average loss rate in 2022 increased to 1.6%, up from 1.4% in 2021.

With fierce competitiveness and lower margins, reducing this figure has a direct impact on a company's results. This is why systems for the electronic protection of goods involving anti-theft sensors or antennas, deactivator devices and security tags play a crucial role.

How do EAS anti-theft antennas work?

EAS anti-theft antennas, known popularly as sensors or pedestals, are part of the Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) system. This system is composed of three complementary elements:

  1. Protective tags: applied to the products to be protected. These products are defined according to the risk of theft and are known as High-Risk Products (PAR, in Portuguese).
  2. Deactivators and decouplers: stationed at the checkouts, they deactivate or remove products tags.
  3. Anti-theft antennas: posted at checkouts or store exits, they detect when an active tag passes by. Consequently, when a label that has not been deactivated at the checkout counter passes through the antennas, a visual and/or audible alarm is set off.

Desativador de Etiquetas protetoras EAS para prevenir furtos no varejo

Recommendations for choosing the best EAS anti-theft antenna for your store

1. Define the best technology for your situation AM (Acousto-Magnetic) or RF (Radio Frequency).

When choosing between AM and RF technologies, it's important to consider the sensitivity, range of antennas (which will determine the span between antennas and the total amount of antennas in the project), as well as the full cost of the system, including hardware and security tags.

A careful assessment of your store's specific needs will help determine the best option to make your products secure and provide peace of mind to your customers.

2. Demand connected anti-theft systems

Having equipment connected to the internet that generates data for management is an essential step towards increasing operational efficiency in retail.

EASi – Inwave’s Intelligent EAS – allows remote access to anti-theft antennas for technical troubleshooting, a dashboard with an online status of all installed devices, as well as data on the number of tag deactivations and antenna alarm events.

3. Determine the best positioning of anti-theft antennas

With the help of experts, the positioning of the anti-theft antennas need to be determined so that the access points to the store are protected. There is usually a need to pay attention to the accesses (entry and exit) and service points.

Another useful suggestion is to consider positioning the antennas at the checkouts, providing greater control of the deactivation operation and a more natural approach, by  the cashiers themselves,  in case the antennas are set off.

Antenas antifurtos EAS da Inwave instaladas entre os caixas de supermercados

4. Choose the antenna’s design and aesthetics

Whatever technology you choose (AM or RF), anti-theft antennas need to integrate with the style and aesthetics of the store. Positioned at the stores' access points, the "pedestals" (as they are often called) can help to enhance the brand, giving it more elegance, providing distinctive lighting, reinforcing branding or supporting advertising campaigns. See all Inwave AM or RF antenna models.

Antenas antifurtos EAS da Inwave instaladas em varejistas de diversos segmentos

5. Evaluate the additional features available

With the advancement of technology, EAS anti-theft systems now offer additional features that can be very relevant in specific retail spaces. Here are some examples:

  • Metal mass detection – option capable of detecting the passage of metal masses, making it possible to identify potential attempts to defraud the system. By triggering an alarm that's different from the tag detection alarm, it alerts store staff to take preventive action.
  • Integration with the store's CCTV system – the EASi, intelligent EAS, allows integration with the store's cameras, making it possible to integrate with the store's cameras, generating alerts to monitor alarm events in real time, as well as linking a video clip to each anti-theft antenna trigger. This technology is an excellent tool for analyzing and improving processes, evaluating staff performance and identifying vulnerabilities.
  • Integration with RFID technology – the security of the EAS system canbe integrated with RFID visibility and control, leading to improved inventoryaccuracy and boosted operational efficiency.
  • TVC for protecting closed checkouts – another option for anti-theft antennas (whichcan also work independently from the EAS) is TVC technology. Positioned betweenthe store's cashiers and activated when the cashiers close, this device detectswhen any object passes through the checkout: carts, people, packages andproducts, even without anti-theft tags applied.

6. Review the quality and after-sales support of the chosen manufacturer

Anti-theft antennas are durable and very resistant. However, the quality and reliability of the manufacturer has to be assessed. Having a manufacturer that is recognized and approved by other retailers and evaluating the level of technical support are two key issues.

We hope that this information will help you make an educated decision when deciding on the best technology, model and manufacturer. Remember to always seek out expert advice and consider the unique needs of your business.