Retailers using technology to disable stolen goods

Aug 5, 2021
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Written by Washington Retail
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From smartphones to power drills, retailers are implementing various technologies in their fight against in-store theft and render products useless.

Organized crime has had a significant impact on retailer’s bottom line. In a recent survey, three out of four businesses that have been victims of theft say they have noticed an increase in organized theft-related occurrences in the past year.

Business Insider reports that Home Depot had recently unveiled a Bluetooth activation technology that allows new power tools to be locked and rendered useless until they are purchased. Soon to be in its nearly 2,000 stores, the technology won’t affect their customer’s experience. ‘”We certainly don’t want to affect the 99.5% of our customers who are just there to pick up their hammers and nails,” said Scott Glenn, Home Depot’s vice president of asset protection.

According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, companies have also been taking advantage of technologies to help track and prevent the theft of cargo while in transit.

Apple is another company that has implemented several deterrents to theft, including Find My, an app that uses GPS to pinpoint the phone’s location on a map accurately. In addition to an owner calling their stolen iPhone, they have several options when the phone is in a thief’s possession. They can send a message that will appear on the lock screen or go as far as wiping the phone of its data and bricking it, a term for making the phone of no value to anyone.