Saks Upgrades To IP Security Cameras And Gets Some Added Inventory Benefits

Saks Fifth Avenue (NYSE:SKS) is rolling out networked digital security cameras in stores as they're renovated, according to Integrated Solutions For Retailers. But the luxury chain is finding the new system useful for more than just loss prevention.

The new cameras "allowed us to provide the rest of the divisions in the company with added benefits," said Patrick McEvoy, senior manager, asset protection systems and technology for Saks. That translates into operations verifying store cleanliness, marketing being able to determine that signage and promotional displays are properly placed, and HR confirming that associates are doing what they've been trained to do.

The usual advantages of upgrading—better resolution, more convenient monitoring, instant access from almost anywhere including corporate headquarters—are what most retailers focus on when they're looking at IP cameras. Saks lets its in-store security personnel use iPads to see (and in some cases pan and zoom) any of the 45 cameras in a typical store. The fact that they can actually see clearly what the cameras are pointed at helps with both prosecutions and proactive security, since it's much more effective to catch a thief before he or she leaves the store.

But the fact that the cameras can also check shelf stocking may be a sleeper advantage that has a much bigger impact for retailers using the cameras that way. Stores can't sell from empty displays, and there's no time for managers to constantly walk the aisles looking for shelves that need restocking. Give managers their own iPads to piggyback on the security system and they can stay on top of replenishment much more easily.

For more:

- See this Integrated Solutions For Retailers story

Related stories:

Saks Makes Some Curious Tablet Choices When Upgrading Its Flagship Store
Luxury Chains Have U.S. Men In Their Sights
Saks Reported To Be For Sale Again, Possibly To Merge With Neiman Marcus

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