The Majority of Retail Stores Ready for Migration to IP, Says LPRC

Axis Communications, a supplier of the network video, announced the results of the “Surveillance Survey Report” conducted by the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) and sponsored by Axis, which states that 87 percent of retail companies who currently use analog technology for surveillance are considering migration strategies toward network video. The LPRC, in conjunction with the Loss Prevention Team (LPT) at the University of Florida, provides deep insight into the retail industry's overall use of video surveillance and perceptions on its effects and then cites reasons for the anticipated move to IP.

For the survey, loss prevention executives from 49 national and regional retail companies answered a series of questions about their companies' use of video surveillance technology, their feelings on IP-based versus analog systems, the effects video surveillance has had on loss prevention and their impressions of other possible uses of video surveillance beyond security and loss prevention, such as marketing and merchandising analytics.

Almost all companies with 98 percent claimed to currently use video surveillance in their stores, yet only 25 percent stated that they have already made the move to an all IP-based surveillance system. For those who have yet to adopt IP video technology, the number one reported obstacle to deployment was the perceived higher cost with 41.7 percent.

Fortunately for these retailers, due to improvements in IP technology, off-the-shelf recording and storage products and overall quality, the total cost for IP-based systems in smaller camera count installations are improving when compared to analog. Additionally, IP innovations such as 9:16 corridor format help bolster surveillance technology in retail by providing better targeted images, which can decrease camera count needed to cover aisles and bays.

Some interesting video surveillance trends within the study include:

* 98 percent say that video surveillance reduced internal loss from employee theft

* Nearly 75 percent claim that video surveillance reduced external loss including shoplifting and return fraud

* Of the respondents who indicated that poor image quality was one of the top four negative effects of video surveillance, 100 percent of them had analog technology as part of their system.

* People counting is the most widely deployed non-LP analytic application, with 27 percent of responders currently running the application in the store
Hot/Cold zones with 13 percent, Dwell time with 13 percent and Queue counters with 10 percent were other additional applications used by retailers today, with more than half of the respondents indicating that they would use these applications in the future if they are not today.

“Our research indicates that retailers have plenty of opportunity to expand their surveillance systems to go far beyond loss prevention, especially if and when they switch to IP,” said Read Hayes, Director, LPRC. “It is great to see positive results from the overall effects of video surveillance regarding safety and crime prevention, but it's evident that the more areas of a retailer's business that can utilize video surveillance, the greater the ROI.”

“Image quality, scalability and lower total cost of ownership have been the three main drivers for network video across all verticals,” said Jackie Andersen, Business Development Manager, Retail. “But in retail, there are many other exciting opportunities at play to use video data more effectively to help streamline operations and improve sales and marketing. LPRC's research indicates growth potential for IP video in an industry that's been using video surveillance for decades.”
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