Being Proactive About Liquor Theft

by Charlotte Aksenchuk on March 22, 2022

In 2020, 2 bottles of high-end whiskey, worth over $80,000, were stolen from a liquor store in Richmond, BC. This case shows how important security tags on liquor products are, especially on high-end products matters. How do retailers go about protecting their most high-value stock without impeding their customer’s experience? The answer is simple, liquor bottle security tags are a great way to protect stock.  

Liquor Dilemma 

Liquor is one of the most stolen items in the food and beverage sector. It is one of the most common, ahead of baby formula, cheese, meat and coffee. The National Retail Federation also notes high-end liquor is among the top 10 targets for shoplifters across all retailers. 

One of the reasons alcohols is one of the most popular items stolen is because it’s rarely in high-security areas, it’s expensive, and easy to conceal. It also commands a high resale value.  

Opportune Pilfering 

A category of shoplifters who steal when the opportunity arises are called opportune pilferers. In this category, teens who steal alcohol could be considered a “rite of passage” for some. These thieves normally go after smaller and lower value items that can be easily concealed.  

Strategic Shoplifting 

The other, common type of shoplifter are strategic, and well planned out. This group normally targets higher-value items that can be resold for a high price. These see liquor as prime targets for organized retail crime.  

Regardless of the strategy, or lack-there-of, alcohol theft costs retailers approximately $46.8 billion in shrink every year, according to the National Retail Federation.  

Risky Whiskey 

Global News, out of Richmond, Canada, reported a theft of two bottles of some of the rarest single malt whiskeys in the world. The man who stole them walked around the store for a few minutes, then smashed the cabinet the bottles were stored in and walked out.  

Bottle Tags  

What options do retailers have to prevent theft like this from occurring at their own stores? Bottle tags are some of the most common ways to detect theft when it occurs. These tags can only be removed at the point of sale and trigger your EAS door alarms when the tag is brought through the gates. They also prevent the liquor from being consumed in the store and come in both RF and AM frequencies. These tags are also available in bulk, available for purchase here, and are an affordable way to decrease shrinkage you experience, without decreasing your customer’s experience.  

Types of bottle tags 

Bottle tags come in two different varieties, “Cable Bottle Tags” and “Slimline Bottle Tags”. The Slimline Bottle Tag fits tight around the bottle neck to offer a strong deterrent against theft. This Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) bottle tag is very versatile and works with almost all bottles to prevent shoplifting.  It is easily removed with one hand at the point of sale with a quick tap on the Designer Super Detacher making it a low labor device. The Slimline Bottle Tag is also a strong visual deterrent to would be thieves and if someone tries to exit with it attached to a bottle it's detection range is at the top of the industry. 

The Cable Bottle Tag is a slightly different product and can cater to bottle necks of a larger range than the “Slimline Bottle Tag”. Both tags are easy to use and can only be removed with a super designer detacher.  

Bottle Locks 

Bottle locks are a special type of security tag that fits over the top of the liquor bottle and covers the cap and neck of the bottle it is placed on. These locks are dual frequency, meaning they work in both AM and RF environments. These tags are special, as they prevent the alcohol from being consumed in the store and damage the product if smashed with something like a hammer if a thief tried to take the tag off without a detacher.  

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