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Packagers Testing Next-Gen Security

11 Apr, 2002 By: Bruce Apar

Several major packaged entertainment retailers will begin testing new “next-generation” packaging configurations to continue the battle against shrinkage, Video Store Magazine learned during a recent one-day summit in New York that gathered 125 executives from major retail chains, movie studios, video game companies and packaging suppliers.

The Entertainment Retail Security Conference, April 5, was a joint effort by Clear-Vu Products and AGI PolyMatrix, two packaging firms serving the music, DVD and video game industries.

The focus of attention was on complementing the current electronic security “source-tagging” systems and looking for ways to bring entertainment software out from behind locked cabinets with so-called “internal-locking” systems that may serve to deter thieves who slit open packages to stealthily remove disks.

Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart will test Clear-Vu's ZenithPac's new deadbolt-like lock that runs the full length of the DVD or game package spine. The device is inserted by store personnel through the shrink-wrap to secure the disc on the inside hub without touching the disc itself. A key decouples the lock at the checkout counter. The chains will be testing the system on their GameCube copies, according to Michael Lax, executive chairman of Clear-Vu.

During the conference, AGI PolyMatrix demonstrated variations on the internal-locking system as well as its so-called “Red Tag” design that locks over the middle part of the package length and forces shoplifters to destroy the package to get at its contents.

“Our focus here is the convenient shoplifter,” said Tom Warren, owner of South Carolina-based 12-store Video Hut chain and current chairman of the Video Software Retailers Association.

Warren, who moderated a panel at the conference, estimated that about 7 percent of shrinkage is from the convenient or casual shoplifter. The rest is either done by a professional or by employees.

“Whatever we come up with, the pro will think of a way to break through it. Margins are so narrow, controlling the convenient thief is essential.”

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