Magazine Article | May 18, 2006

Cabela's Improves Asset Protection

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

A large direct marketer/outdoor retailer uses cameras and DVRs (digital video recorders) in its retail stores to reduce shrink and drive customer service.

Integrated Solutions For Retailers, June 2006

Cabela’s, a multinational retailer of hunting, fishing, and outdoor gear, sells its products through direct marketing and 14 retail stores; another 4 stores are due to open this year. As the retailer’s outdoor recreation brand grew, protecting its assets became increasingly important, so Dave Homolka, director of corporate asset protection at Cabela’s, was brought on board to lead the safeguard efforts.

Since the company began as a direct marketing enterprise, Cabela’s is somewhat new to asset protection devices and processes within its stores. However, when its stores are built, they are outfitted with a number of CCTV (closed-circuit television) products, including cameras, domes, and controllers. Newer stores also use digital video recorders. Surveillance equipment is placed inside and outside of Cabela’s stores to provide needed visibility. The technology implemented varies depending on the store location and size. Additionally, all stores use Sensormatic EAS (electronic article surveillance) systems. Store employees also use a DSX Access Systems solution to control entry to back office areas of the store.

“Our stores have a variety of CCTV equipment in them,” says Homolka. “Like other retailers, we want to deploy the right technology at the right price to address the challenges we face. We found that testing various types of technology has helped us find the solutions that best fit our needs.” Homolka and his team worked with a number of vendor partners to design the finest solution for all store locations. Initially, the majority of the surveillance equipment used in the stores was from one manufacturer; however, within the last 18 months, Cabela’s has begun purchasing the controllers, Spectra series domes, and fixed cameras from Pelco, a manufacturer of video security equipment. Furthermore, the DVRs used in all newly built stores will also be Pelco products. Cabela’s stores use a variety of equipment (e.g. outdoor cameras, indoor cameras, controllers, etc.) depending on the light available at the designated location and the length of shot that will be captured with each device.

Integrate Cameras With Store Systems To Trigger Associate Responses
“The reasons we’ve incorporated more of Pelco’s products into our store solutions is that the products are comparable to what we were using, they’re available at a lower cost, and Pelco’s service has been very good,” says Homolka. “Asset protection employees who survey store situations use the equipment within the stores, and the system is set up so that live situations can be reviewed from the corporate office, as well.”

Homolka and his team plan to integrate the surveillance equipment with other systems to improve sales and provide a higher quality of service. For example, future integration includes leveraging analytics that tie to CCTV, such as identifying growing cash register lines and triggering a phone call, e-mail, or text message to store associates to provide assistance. The cameras can also monitor hot-selling areas and notify associates to replenish a shelf of fast-moving merchandise. Likewise, Cabela’s will be integrating its EAS system and camera system to alert a dome camera at the exit door when a sensor alarm is sounded. Cabela’s is also meeting with vendors of business analytics software and plans to integrate the selected solution with the camera system and EAS system, as well.

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