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Retail Technology Review:
Homebase achieves 20% reduction in stock loss with the SmartWater Group.
Homebase, the home and garden experts, is the latest name to team-up with the SmartWater Group to enhance the protection of valuable stock items and reduce theft in store. It is set to introduce forensic marking in more stores across the UK following a 20% reduction in stock loss, and subsequently a sales increase of 10%, across a number of branches in high crime areas.
SmartWater is a traceable liquid and forensic asset marking solution that is applied to items of value to deter theft and support police in recovering stolen property and securing a successful conviction. Each bottle of SmartWater is uniquely formulated and comprises a long lasting and unique forensic identifier whose presence is invisible except under an ultraviolet black light. This ensures items can quickly and categorically be tied back to the location from which they were taken.
Homebase initially trialled SmartWater in key stock loss areas, such as demonstration hardware, in some of its worst affected stores as a means of minimising loss prevention. Applying the traceable liquid to power tools and other valuable items, and prominently displaying ‘Protected by SmartWater’ signage, acted as a clear deterrent to criminals and resulted in an immediate reduction in stock loss. The retailer will now be extending this to further stores.
Warren Baggett, Trading Loss Prevention Manager at Homebase, comments: “Working with SmartWater will help us prevent theft while making shopping for valuable items in our stores easier for our customers. Our partnership will also help us crack down on thieves and, importantly, protect our store teams.”
Gary Higgins, Chief Operations Officer at SmartWater Group, comments: “Criminals hate SmartWater as they know it makes it far more likely that they’ll be caught and also that they’ll be successfully prosecuted. As a result, they tend to steer well clear of retailers who deploy it. We’re proud to be supporting Homebase in deterring theft from their stores, ensuring anybody stupid enough to target the company can expect to face the consequences.”
SmartWater Group technology is widely deployed in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector where it has made criminal activity significantly less attractive to perpetrators and helped to secure numerous successful convictions.