Shoplifting has become bolder and more aggressive over the past couple of years, forcing retailers to balance the need for an inviting shopping experience with better product protection.

In the US, extreme shoplifting is becoming more common. Thieves, often operating in gangs, use large bags, shopping carts, in fact, anything else that can hold quantities of merchandise, to clear shelves of products. The thefts – and risk to staff, have become so bad that some retailers have been forced to close stores permanently. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2021 National Retail Security Survey, organised theft costs retailers on average $700,000 per $1 billion in retail sales.

Reasons for escalation include a lack of prosecutions, social and economic changes, and understaffed police departments, which don’t have the time or resources to respond to shoplifting cases. As a result, the onus is often on retailers to take steps to ensure products are protected as well as the safety of customers and staff.

Safeguarding the retail experience

In addition, some retailers have turned to locked cabinets to protect merchandise, which can have a negative impact on the customer experience, creating an additional barrier to purchase (shoppers like to look at and touch potential purchases, or read important product information without the help of store staff).

However, technology innovations mean open displays with effective protection against theft, are possible. For instance, Checkpoint’s Alpha High Theft Solutions offer a wide range of advanced products designed to protect high-value, high-theft merchandise while retaining a customer-friendly shopping experience; and simultaneously reducing shrinkage and increasing sales.

Key to effective protection for products on open display is versatility. Checkpoint has worked in partnership with retailers to develop many of the different solutions in our Alpha portfolio, which includes Cablelok, Mini Needlelok Tags and Spider Wrap - proven to trigger between a 30% to 40% sales recovery without hindering shoppers from touching products.

Alpha’s Bottle Protection portfolio is designed to work with in-store aesthetics and allow shoppers to pick up bottles to easily read labels, while still protecting them from theft.

Alpha Spider Wraps – now used by more than 500 retailers worldwide, were the first solution designed to protect six-sided packages and now come in eight different versions, including the Mini Spider Wrap, Attack 70”, to the XXL 132”.


A perennial problem for technology or electronics retailers offering boxed products, is how to effectively merchandise them so shoppers can simply pick them up and take them to the checkout, while preventing thieves from opening boxes to take all or part of the contents.

Alpha’s 75-strong range of Keepers – the largest on the market, come in assorted sizes and shapes, allowing retailers to display products in their box packaging, while protecting them from theft, tampering and damage. The Keepers are easy to apply and remove at the checkout and don’t obscure important, on-pack product information.

And with today’s heightened risk of shelf sweeps, Alpha’s new ShrinkShelf ensures products are properly displayed and protected, while increasing planogram compliance.

Because Alpha High Theft Solutions come in multiple technologies including 1, 2, and 3 alarm versions; AM, RF, or RFID or a combination, as well as multiple locking strengths, it makes them suitable for a spectrum of retailers – from supermarkets to department stores, DIY retailers to electronics specialists.


Driving sustainable and intelligent protection

Alongside product protection, Checkpoint also recognises the importance of sustainability to our business. We are committed to reducing our overall environmental impact by continuously investing in innovation, new technologies, and processes.

For example, in our manufacturing plant in Canton Ohio, the Alpha Keeper buckets contain between 10%-30% recycled material, while the lids are made with 100% recycled material. Bottle Caps are made from 100% recycled material, as is our disposable product.

Moreover, in the US our new recycling program allows customers to return products to us, such as Keepers, to receive a ‘Green Credit’ toward future purchases. The returned materials are recycled into new Alpha products. We are looking to test this program in other markets worldwide.


Future-Proofing the retail environment

As retail thieves become more sophisticated and target a wider range of goods, Checkpoint continues to stay one step ahead. Our R&D teams are constantly assessing new and practical applications, collaborating with customers to create the product protection of the future.

Find out more about Checkpoint’s Alpha High Theft Solutions.