Supermarkets introduce new 'hidden' anti-theft devices

Written by Henrik Rothen

Nov.14 - 2023 11:43 AM CET

Supermarkets introduce new 'hidden' anti-theft devices.

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In response to a significant increase in shoplifting incidents in France, major retail chains are increasingly turning to anti-theft devices.

A recent report by TF1 highlights this growing trend, featuring insights from Yann Lancelot, a supermarket director, and Jacky Thonnsen, a manufacturer of these devices.

The rise in shoplifting, which saw a 14% increase last year according to the French Ministry of the Interior, coincides with a similar rise in price inflation. This has led retailers to adopt more sophisticated anti-theft measures.

New sophisticated anti-theft measures

For instance, small but valuable items like electric toothbrush heads, which are frequently stolen, are now being secured in locked plastic boxes, a method previously reserved for high-tech products.

Another area of focus is food items, especially expensive meats and fish. Retailers are discreetly placing security tags inside packaging to prevent theft. This approach is part of a broader trend of innovation in the anti-theft industry, as companies like Thonnsen's, based in Châteauroux, develop a wide range of specialized devices.

With over 50 different types of anti-theft devices and a stock of 2 million pieces, Thonnsen's company caters to the needs of large retail chains both in France and internationally.

The introduction of self-service checkouts was a significant trigger for the development of new anti-theft technologies.

The recent inflation has further accelerated this trend. Each anti-theft device is custom-designed, tested, and adapted to the specific needs of the store. This includes electronic boxes that alert staff to forced passage at closed checkouts and new tags that do not damage textile materials while remaining difficult to remove.

In addition to anti-theft devices, the company is also involved in store layout and checkout security, another rapidly growing sector.

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