In-Store Cigarette Tweak: Reducing Theft By Not Having Associates Turn Around

Given age-restrictions, cigarette sales often have to be manually handled. Store designs generally place the cough cartons on the wall behind associates, forcing them to turn their backs to customers while searching for the requested brand. A Montreal vendor last week proposed an automated cigarette package dispenser designed to cut down on thefts that occur during this process. This is not IT in the traditional sense, but it's still a clever in-store tech approach to deal with shrink.

The product, from the Artitalia Group, claims that the Audimac "not only has all the cigarette packages separated by brand and size, but also dispenses them at a push of a button." The anti-theft element here is not necessarily designed to thwart people stealing cigarettes as much as it is trying to block the theft of everything else while the associate searches for the cigarettes. Maybe they should have a new cigarette warning for store associates? "Your chain's IT General warns that the cigarette sales process could be hazardous to Loss Prevention." Or maybe, "If you can see these cigarette SKUs, you can't see the customer stealing from you right now."