Safety and Security of your stores employees and patrons along with Loss Prevention are two of the top concerns when deploying a Retail Surveillance solution. Surveillance camera serve several purposes in a Retail environment. The sight of cameras alone will deter potential theives from targeting your store. If this doesnt frighten them off, the investigation process is simplified when tangible video evidence is available for rock solid proof. Even then, suspicious activities can be hard to detect, and even impossible if the surveillance equipment used provides images that are inferior. Over just the last few years, Video Surveillance has made strides by leaps and bounds. Analog cameras are typically limited to D1 Resolution which is approximately 0.3 Megapixels or 640x480. IP Cameras with 5 times the resolution capabilities are widely available and comparably priced. In an environment where the smallest details can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars in theft or frivolous lawsuits, deploying the best technology while maintaining your budget makes complete sense. Today’s IP Camera systems provide more than just video evidence; Combined with analytics and intelligence these systems can quickly alert personnel when situations arise. These can include understanding customer behavoir, flow of foot traffic, POS Integration, people counting, and many other custom alerts. When these alerts are detected security personnel can be instantly notified by a variety of methods including text, page, email etc.
Springfield Food Court
Mission: To combat theft and scams, the Springfield Food Court, Inc. (SFC) needed a security system that would allow senior management to easily monitor large food court areas dispersed throughout several states. The SFC needed a solution that would give it the ability to view operations at each of its remote locations.
The SFC installed five Axis video servers and 22 cameras with pan, tilt and zoom capabilities to upgrade and expand its security system in two of its seven locations. The video servers, which digitize images from analog cameras, transmit images to a secure web page where management can access them with a user name and password.
The cameras and video servers now provide SFC’s management with images from nearly every area of the food courts, 24 hours a day, via the Internet. The SFC’s senior management is saving about 25 percent of its time in monitoring customer and employee misconduct, and the company has been able to reduce losses by tens of thousands of dollars per year.
Catering to a tall order
The Springfield Food Court specializes in the development and management of food courts around the country, specifically for shopping malls, hotels, office buildings and other commercial locations. Because the company generates a high volume of sales in heavily traveled areas, it is essential for the SFC to keep a close watch over its businesses and operations.
The company wanted a cost-effective yet efficient security system for monitoring various areas of the food courts. The SFC installed Axis network cameras with pan, tilt and zoom capabilities so that a larger area could be monitored with just one camera. In addition, managers, administrators and security divisions were all given access to the images for security and surveillance applications.
“We have been very impressed with the efficiency of the system,” said Sean Grogan, vice president of the SFC. “Images are easily accessible to all of the SFC’s managers, no matter where they are located, and locating archived digital video takes seconds as opposed to spending hours searching through video tapes.”
With the Axis video servers in place, the SFC can monitor disparate areas of the food courts in real time. Everything from deliveries to inventories to cash transactions can be monitored simultaneously, making the processes more efficient. In addition, the entire system cost the company less than $30,000 to be fully installed in both locations and has saved the SFC thousands of dollars a year across a wide variety of business operations.
“The cost savings is beyond calculation,” Mr. Grogan said. “Not only have we regained time lost to monitoring the facilities, but we also have to consider costs saved from reduced theft and higher employee productivity. The Axis system has easily paid for itself in its first year of operation.”
Because the system proved to be the most manageable and cost-effective security and surveillance solution, the SFC is currently working to install cameras and Axis video servers at the remaining five locations.
*Case Study available via Axis Communication Success Stories
"Survey Says 87% of Retail Stores Are Considering the Move to Network Surveillance System"
Announced at NRF’s Big Show, Research Shows Retail Industry’s Use and Perceptions of Video Surveillance, as well as Use of Network-based vs. Analog Technology
Axis Communications, the global leader in the network video market, today announced the results of the “Surveillance Survey Report” conducted by the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) and sponsored by Axis, which states that 87% of retail companies who currently use analog technology for surveillance are now considering migration strategies toward network video. The LPRC, in conjunction with the Loss Prevention Team (LPT) at the University of Florida, provides deep insight into the retail industry’s overall use of video surveillance and perceptions on its effects, and then cites reasons for the anticipated move to IP.
For the survey, loss prevention executives from 49 national and regional retail companies answered a series of questions about their companies’ use of video surveillance technology, their feelings on IP-based versus analog systems, the effects video surveillance has had on loss prevention, and their impressions of other possible uses of video surveillance beyond security and loss prevention, such as marketing and merchandising analytics.
Almost all companies (98%) claimed to currently use video surveillance in their stores, yet only 25% stated that they have already made the move to an all IP-based surveillance system. For those who have yet to adopt IP video technology, the number one reported obstacle to deployment was the perceived higher cost (41.7%).
Fortunately for these retailers, due to improvements in IP technology, off-the-shelf recording and storage products, and overall quality, the total cost for IP-based systems in smaller camera count installations are improving when compared to analog. Additionally, IP innovations such as 9:16 Corridor Format help bolster surveillance technology in retail by providing better targeted images, which can decrease camera count needed to cover aisles and bays.
There were many other interesting video surveillance trends within the study, including:
- 98% say that video surveillance reduced internal loss (employee theft, etc.)
- Nearly 75% claim that video surveillance reduced external loss (shoplifting, return fraud, etc.)
- Of the respondents who indicated that poor image quality was one of the top four negative effects of video surveillance, 100% of them had analog technology as part of their system
- People counting is the most widely deployed non-LP analytic application, with 27% of responders currently running the application in the store
- Hot/Cold zones (13%), Dwell time (13%) and Queue counters (10%) were other additional applications used by retailers today, with more than half of the respondents indicating that they would use these applications in the future if they are not today
“Our research indicates that retailers have plenty of opportunity to expand their surveillance systems to go far beyond loss prevention, especially if and when they switch to IP,” said Dr. Read Hayes, director, LPRC. “It is great to see positive results from the overall effects of video surveillance regarding safety and crime prevention, but it’s evident that the more areas of a retailer’s business that can utilize video surveillance, the greater the ROI.”
“Image quality, scalability and lower total cost of ownership have been the three main drivers for network video across all verticals,” said Jackie Andersen, business development manager, Retail. “But in retail, there are many other exciting opportunities at play to use video data more effectively to help streamline operations and improve sales and marketing. LPRC’s research indicates tremendous growth potential for IP video in an industry that’s been using video surveillance for decades.”
For more details about the survey or for complete results, please contact the LPRC at http://www.lpresearch.org/cms/ or Domenic Locapo at firstname.lastname@example.org.