KNOWN for its tagline “Expect More, Pay Less”, Target takes its safety seriously and uses security hacks to catch people stealing from its stores, and help stop crime.
Sophisticated CCTV systems
Sophisticated CCTV camera networks help staff monitor any activity inside their big-box stores.
It’s not because the stores are vast that eyes are not always on customers.
While this footage is used in real time, it is also saved as evidence – shared with other locations, headquarters or even police via email.
Whether you have been recorded in one shop a month ago, or have crossed states lines to commit your next theft, the teams might already be building up a “repeat shoplifter” case against you.
Facial recognition software
Target’s cameras use top-of-the-line, in-store facial recognition technology paired with image analytics which allow staff to keep a close eye on suspicious customers.
The images are also recorded outside the store and in its parking lots.
Despite privacy concerns, facial recognition technologies empowers personnel to better prevent shoplifting, organized retail crime and in-store violence.
Sensors and RFID tags
Target takes loss prevention seriously, and one way to monitor shoplifting, and inventory levels, is to attach RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, also known as sensor tags, on their products.
Tags are not necessarily attached to every single product in store – they are instead usually affixed to those previously targeted for shoplifting.
An alarm is triggered if someone attempts to remove the product out of its package, or walks out of the store without paying.
Loss prevention officers
Away from the pure technology, Target employs Loss Prevention officers, whose role it is to just focus on spotting anything suspicious.
As part of their responsibility, they need to find out as much as they possibly can about the person or a group of people they suspect of being up to no good.
This could include previous instances, behaviour patterns and suspected accomplices.
A former employee at Target also revealed security guards go undercover by wearing plain clothes to follow around anyone they might suspect.
It is essential these officers present solid proof when stopping a customer, as this could end up in a lawsuit.
Many shoppers who frequent the stores are likely unaware of the company’s secrets – including the fact it lets shoplifters steal until a certain total amount is reached to make it grand theft larceny (a felony), and has one of country’s top-rated forensic laboratories.
It describes its labs as specialising in solving “organized retail crimes committed at Target stores through video and image analysis, latent fingerprint and computer forensics”.