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BI-LO ROLLS OUT CCTV, NEARS COMPLETION OF CHAINWIDE EAS

MAULDIN, S.C. -- As it nears chainwide implementation of electronic article surveillance systems in its 259 stores, Bi-Lo here also recently rolled out closed-circuit television security systems to 100 stores.This most recent CCTV installation, completed at the end of June, gave Bi-Lo CCTV systems in a total of 150 stores.The retailer plans to install CCTV in the remainder of its stores over the next

MAULDIN, S.C. -- As it nears chainwide implementation of electronic article surveillance systems in its 259 stores, Bi-Lo here also recently rolled out closed-circuit television security systems to 100 stores.

This most recent CCTV installation, completed at the end of June, gave Bi-Lo CCTV systems in a total of 150 stores.

The retailer plans to install CCTV in the remainder of its stores over the next few years.

Bi-Lo's CCTV systems monitor the store entrances, front-end offices, health and beauty care departments, meat departments and stockrooms.

James Wiles, director of loss prevention at Bi-Lo, said CCTV should help reduce robberies and the possibility of cash theft in the stores. CCTV also complements the chain's use of EAS to reduce shrink from both external and internal theft.

In addition, CCTV can help reduce false claims when the cameras are focused on common slip and fall areas of the store. If the retailer were required to go to court for a slip and fall case, the video could prove whether it was intentional or not, Wiles explained.

Wiles noted that implementation of CCTV was a preventative measure, though Bi-Lo has had a few robberies just like any other company.

"With CCTV, we're trying to take a proactive approach of 'Let's get the cameras in here and try to deter these types of activities in our stores,'-" he said.

Results from the 50 CCTV systems already in place indicate that "The number of robberies and cash shortages are far less than in those [stores] that don't have CCTV," said Wiles.

"It's hard to determine [CCTV's effect on] shrink numbers in general merchandise and health and beauty care because we had EAS in those stores," he added. "But we still continue to have reductions in those areas."

EAS systems at Bi-Lo produced a 40% shrink reduction in grocery, general merchandise and HBC, and a 25% reduction in meat shrink, during a one-year test in 18 to 20 stores that ended last summer.

In addition to CCTV and EAS systems, source tagging is high on Bi-Lo's loss-prevention agenda. Wiles said that within the next two months Bi-Lo will have 500 stockkeeping units coming into its stores that are source tagged by the manufacturer.

Wiles said Bi-Lo wants to get as many items as possible into stores that are already source tagged, preferably inside the box where shoplifters can't remove the tag. By having the product come in with the tag, Bi-Lo's labor costs are reduced because it does not need its own employees to handle this task.

All source tagged items will be coming in from American Sales Co., Williamsville, N.Y., the general merchandise and HBC distributor for Bi-Lo's parent company, Ahold USA, Atlanta.

American Sales Co. supplies all the general merchandise and HBC needs for several of Bi-Lo's sister companies, including Finast Friendly Markets, Maple Heights, Ohio, and Tops Friendly Markets, Buffalo, N.Y.

The EAS and CCTV systems being used at Bi-Lo come from Checkpoint Systems, Thorofare, N.J. Checkpoint also works with American Sales Co. and product manufacturers on source tagging efforts.