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Security Gates

Why all the hype over security gates?


Security Gates are commonplace in European retail stores and have been emerging in North American retailers in the last few years. Essentially they are used to direct customer flow the way the retailers wants the traffic to move throughout their store. The common systems are outlined herein;


Entrance system


The main entrance of a store without a security gate is a two-way system. Implementation of security gates creates a one-way traffic pattern to reduce the opportunity for would-be thieves to exit through the entrance. Essentially the gates nudge a customer towards a check-out allowing the human element of deterrence to act as your security system. Thieves don’t like having to walk by a cashier.


Self-checkout system


Clearly, self-checkouts have been a topic of debate for many retailers, with Loss Prevention departments raising the caution flag. Studies show shrinkage increases of 36%-50% in overall shrinkage rate. Whether the additional risk is off-set by labour savings and sales increase is to be determined by each individual retailer.


The gate system at the self-checkout provides an additional element of deterrence. Customers having to exit through gates think twice about shorting their purchase, those honest mistakes that cause you shrinkage.


Some retailers are exploring the integration with their POS system with a receipt scanner to validate the transaction and enable the gates. More to come on this initiative.


Lane closure system


When cash lanes are not in use they provide a great opportunity for a customer to bi-pass any checks and balances a retailer puts in place. Some retailers have included a gate system in their 360 degree approach to the customer traffic flow solution. This allows cashier to restrict their lane as an exit point t while they are on break or lunch.


Bolduc Solution


My client Bolduc Solution provides a stainless steel finished product that is both functional and aesthetically appealing. They have responded to customer feedback and have designed a fully automated sensor activated system that ties into the fire panel, and detects obstructions in the field of motion of the swing arms.


Contact me directly to work with you on evaluating the implementation of a security gate system  in your stores. While it may not be everyone, the return may be significant. One retailer claimed wage savings alone paid for the system within 6 months. Combine that with the shrinkage reduction and you may be well on your way to maximizing your bottom line.





Hello, I'm Stephen O'Keefe. The information you read here is intended to help businesses answer some of the tough questions about everyday events in the retail environment. After spending over 3 decades in this industry we've seen a lot!
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About Stephen O'Keefe

As an independent consultant I leverage my experience and knowledge to help a number of companies achieve results. Clients range from non-retailers looking for guidance to serve their retail customer, to retailers looking for quick solutions to unique and costly problems, right to the Industry Association. Bottom line Matters!

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