Need ROI on Your EAS System? Focus on Refund Fraud

Electronic Article surveillance (EAS) has been around for quite some time and is still considered one of the leading Loss Prevention tools in reducing shoplifting. Those Loss Prevention professionals who have had the opportunity to interview amateur shoplifters or professional boosters were told many times over that they would rather steal merchandise from a non-EAS retailer than one who employs this technology. But in order to determine the true ROI of an EAS system, data needs to be analyzed.

There are several ways to calculate the effectiveness of an EAS system other than a reduction of shrink as a percent to sales. One other way is to compare the number of known shoplifting incidents within a specified time frame before the EAS system was installed, to a specified period of time after the EAS system was installed. Depending on the retail store and location, one may find a glaring reduction in shoplifting incidents. But shoplifting isn’t the only thing a solid EAS system should be preventing.

Refund Fraud is a large issue and one that is rarely cited as a leading cause of profit erosion. But in the 2015 Annual Return Survey published by the National Retail Federation (NRF), it was revealed that Refund Fraud accounts for 3.5% of total returns. If that doesn’t seem like a large number, then perhaps seeing it in dollars will cause more concern. According to the NRF’s 2015 survey:

  • Returns as a percent of total sales is 8.0%
  • Returns totaled $260.5 billion.
  • With 3.5% of returns being fraudulent, this equates to $9.12 billion in lost revenue.

Ensuring the right EAS system and the right EAS tags are in place are the two most important things a Loss Prevention professional can do to ensure the greatest ROI from the lowest possible investment. Although a huge challenge for retailers has always been getting a high level of tagging compliance from employees, some retailers have employed source-tagging. But if determining an effective ROI from your EAS system is the goal, then shoplifting isn’t the only thing to look at. The most successful LP executives know this, and that is why Refund Fraud reduction is one of the main benefits they realize from a modern and efficient EAS system that is coupled with the right EAS tags.

For more information regarding how to couple the right EAS tags to the right EAS system, visit

About Nedap Retail

Nedap brings 40 years of global experience, market expertise and close cooperation with leading retailers. Everything we do is driven by our mission to make it simple for retailers to always have the right products available. To achieve this, we offer industry-leading solutions for our customers’ diverse needs in loss prevention and stock management. For more information, visit