Stop Shoplifters Now: 7 Items You Need to Tag for Optimal Security

by Marina Bridal on April 18, 2023

This past year, 46% of small retail businesses were forced to increase prices as a result of theft indicating the need for even better loss prevention tactics. 

Security tags are a crucial component of retail loss prevention. They serve as a deterrent to shoplifting and help to prevent theft. These tags work by emitting an alarm when they come into contact with a magnetic field from an Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) System, alerting store personnel to the presence of an item that has not been properly paid for.

In a perfect world, retailers would be able to add security tags to all of their merchandise but this is overly time-consuming and costly for most. In order to prioritize the most frequently stolen and targeted goods, what items do retailers need to use security tags and labels on?

Read on for a list of some of the most important items to be tagged in your store.



Expensive merchandise:

This may be obvious, but any item that is expensive or has a high resale value should be tagged. This includes items such as designer handbags, jewelry, electronics, and high-end clothing. Thieves are more likely to target expensive items because of their high resale value. 

The best tags to defend these kinds of items would be Self-Alarming Tags such as Screamer or Spider Tags, because they alarm when a shoplifter tampers with the product as well as when it passes through the security gate. As these are more expensive tags, their detectability is greater and the odds are better that they will effectively protect your items.

Screamer Tags are best suited for handbags, shoes, tools, button-holes on coats and jackets, and anything else that has a secure loop that allows for the Screamer tag to wrap itself around. 

Spider Tags are optimized for boxed items. These security tags can protect shoe boxes, handbag boxes, cosmetics boxes, tool kits, electronics (televisions, headphones, cellphones, etc.), and anything else that comes in a box-like shape.

Another effective tag for high-end clothing items are Designer Tamper Resistant Tags, because they are nearly impossible to pry apart without the proper tools to remove the tag.



Fragile items:

Fragile items, such as glassware and electronics, can be easily damaged during a theft attempt. By tagging these items, retailers can deter thieves from attempting to steal them, which can help to reduce the risk of damage.

Some store owners choose to keep these items in locked cabinets, but they can also be effectively guarded with security labels or tags when available.

Spider Tags are perfect for boxes of expensive fragile items such as boxes of plates, bowls, fine china, candles, and other glass or porcelain materials. Security labels can be discretely slipped into packaging and applied on any smooth and flat surface. 



Small items:

Small items, such as makeup, accessories, and small electronics (headphones, charger cords, and SD cards), are one of the easier and more popular items to steal. These items can be easily concealed and are often high in demand, making them attractive targets for theft.

They can effectively be secured with smaller security labels. Plain White Labels can be used for a cleaner, less busy look. Retailers can also write on plain white labels or put their own labels or price tags over top. Barcode Labels can add legitimacy and shoplifters may not even think to remove them.

It is always a good idea to keep these small and easy-to-hide items in a high-visibility region of your salesfloor.


Items on display:

Items that are on display, such as any items on mannequins or merchandise that is displayed on shelves or racks, can be shoplifting targets Featured items look more desirable to shoplifters and their absence can sometimes be hard to notice. 

To avoid obscuring the look of the display with clunky security tags, we advise you choose the sleeker and more discrete security tags such as mini rectangular tags, Designer Tamper Resistant Tags, and the Mini Pencil Tags.

If an item cannot be tagged, consider discretely placing security labels on the display items.


New merchandise:

New merchandise is often an attractive target for shoplifters because it is in high demand and may seem more valuable

The optimal security tag for your new merchandise depends on what each individual item is and how much it is value. Spend extra money and effort to secure your higher-cost items to save you and your business from bigger losses.



Seasonal items:

Seasonal items, such as holiday decorations or seasonal clothing, are important to tag since they are in such high demand and some people are not willing to spend too much money on them considering they can only use them for part of the year. Security tags are also incredibly valuable in this area during peak shopping seasons.

The security tags or labels for seasonal items depend on the holiday and what item they are protecting. Boxes of Christmas trees can be secured with Spider Tags, fabric items such as stockings can be secured with Pencil Tags, woven Easter baskets can be protected with Screamer Tags, and Halloween costumes can be defended by adding clothing security tags suitable for garments such as Pencil Tags, Mini Rectangular Tags, and Ink Tags



Limited edition items:

Limited edition items, such as collectibles or exclusive merchandise, are highly sought after by collectors and are very easy for shoplifters to resell inconspicuously. 

As these items come into stock much less frequently and in smaller quantities, it is important to secure them as effectively as possible. Once again, Self-Alarming Tags may be the best choice since they are harder for shoplifters to successfully remove. 

You may also want to keep these items in a display case if your store experiences high levels of theft.




In addition to these specific items, retailers should also consider tagging any items that are frequently stolen in their particular store or geographic area. This information can be obtained through careful analysis of sales data and security footage.

While security tags are an effective deterrent to theft, they are not foolproof. Shoplifters may still attempt to remove them or find ways to bypass them. Retailers should also consider other security measures, such as surveillance cameras, security guards, and employee training programs, to create a comprehensive loss prevention strategy.

Not only is it important to learn which items to tag, but it is also crucial to know what security tags or labels to use. A good rule of thumb is that the larger the security tag or security label, the better the detection range and likelihood of your EAS gates catching the unpaid merchandise as it passes through. Generally speaking, larger and more expensive tags are ideal for larger and more expensive items. Self-alarming tags like screamer tags or spider tags offer even better, more reliable protection and defense for these higher-ticket items.

In conclusion, retailers should use security tags on high-value merchandise, fragile items, small items, items on display, new merchandise, seasonal items, limited edition items, and any items that are frequently stolen. By implementing a comprehensive loss prevention strategy that includes security tags and other measures, retailers can reduce the risk of theft and protect their bottom line.