Big Y Rolling Out Service That Flags ‘Sweethearting’

Big Y here is completing the deployment of a service in 35 of its 56 stores this month that analyzes video feeds from overhead cameras to determine whether cashiers are deliberately not scanning products — or “sweethearting,” in the parlance of loss prevention executives.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Big Y here is completing the deployment of a service in 35 of its 56 stores this month that analyzes video feeds from overhead cameras to determine whether cashiers are deliberately not scanning products — or “sweethearting,” in the parlance of loss prevention executives.

Big Y plans to use the service, from StopLift Vision Systems, Bedford, Mass., at its remaining stores within six months as those outlets are equipped with additional closed circuit television equipment, according to Mark Gaudette, director of loss prevention for Big Y.

While Big Y executives observed the StopLift system’s ability to flag cashiers engaged in deliberate sweethearting, they were even more impressed with its potential as a training tool for new cashiers and those prone to inadvertent scanning errors, Gaudette said. “We saw tons of unintentional mis-scans that added up to some pretty serious dollars.”

Since then Big Y has incorporated video examples from the system into the computer-based training program used to orient newly hired cashier and in “counseling sessions” to retrain errant cashiers.

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