Axis cloud-based systems safeguards North Europe fashion stores MQ

Axis cloud-based systems safeguards North Europe fashion stores MQ

MQ is a Sweden's fashion retailer, offering a mix of its own and other designer clothes. MQ has over 117 stores throughout Sweden and 5 stores in Norway. A flexible camera system and effective surveillance in stores are necessary when there are 30 million visitors per year and a selection of designer clothes, which are particularly susceptible to theft.

Axis' cloud-based video surveillance system, AXIS Video Hosting System (AVHS), provides MQ with the efficiency and flexibility required to meet the high demands of surveillance of attractive goods that are particularly susceptible to theft. This solution makes it possible for MQ to, without making changes in the local store network, install and then centrally manage all cameras, regardless of the store in which the cameras are located. The system supports local storage of video footage in each store, as well as the central display of the video footage. Since MQ is aiming for a uniform structure and improved functionality, the decision was taken to install Axis network cameras in its security system. Axis network cameras offer easy installation, superior image quality, a functional and unobtrusive design and, scalability.

Axis cameras have contributed to a safer and more secure work environment in MQ's stores. Staff at stores that have the biggest problem with theft have experienced a greater sense of security and are urging for increased camera surveillance. All new stores opened by MQ will be equipped with similar systems, and older systems in existing stores will also be replaced successively. Currently, 100 stores have the new cloud-based camera system, using a total of about 850 cameras.

A flexible and cost-effective total solution
MQ's stores use the Axis cloud-based camera system, AVHS. The service is provided by Axis partner Observit. This enables MQ to, independent of geographical distances, support its stores remotely from a central surveillance center. The camera system also makes it possible for MQ to centrally store images and video sequences, and, if necessary, start recording manually straight from a browser. Camera control and all other functions are managed via a normal webpage and video material is stored securely with Observit.

The cameras also have Axis' proprietary processor adapted for video surveillance, which means that MQ saves bandwidth and storage with the H.264 compression standard.

The system's unique “One-click camera connection” reduces installation costs since it automatically connects the camera to the central system, without the need for any local servers or adjustments to the infrastructure. Connecting a camera takes only a few minutes. Upgrades and system support are carried out centrally, which also saves time, money and travel. Each day, the security manager receives a report with a status update from every camera in every store, which clearly shows whether a problem exists and if so where. “This is the solution for us. None of the stores need expensive servers. We work with security, not IT, and when something happens with the computer/server, it costs time and money. We don't want to have to focus on that,” says Fredrik Lindblom.

A system with development options
To establish a unified structure and better functionality, MQ decided that all stores should have the same camera system. MQ has chosen Axis network cameras and the AVHS system because of its many advantages. The network-connected cameras have good image quality and allow for quick and easy installation. Another advantage is the system's scalability. It is easy to connect new units and each store can add more cameras to its system, which might be necessary for larger or especially theftprone stores.

The ability to implement intelligent functions in the system is also very appealing. It should not just be a security product, but rather a business product where many departments can use the camera for different purposes. For example, designing a campaign by analyzing how people move around the store or gaining control of the lines at the cash register and ensuring adequate staffing are just a few functions that appeal to MQ and that are fully viable with a network-based camera system. MQ is also working to connect its system to an emergency service center. The possibilities are many and the cloud-based camera system is flexible enough to realize them.

Design and security
MQ has chosen Axis' functionally designed cameras that deliver good image quality. Design, flexibility and functionality are important elements.“The innovative and unobtrusive design is a must for the cameras to fit into our store environments, but sometimes you want the cameras to be visible and work as a deterrent. The Axis camera design is flexible enough to meet these requirements.” says Fredrik Lindblom.

MQ is committed to ensuring that its staff feel secure in their work environment. Getting immediate reports about incidents and the ability to act quickly are important. The staff are very supportive of the cameras. Cooperation with the police has become more efficient with the new camera system since the images are getting better and the chances of clearing up any violations will improve.

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