Tyco safeguards Romanian Carrefour

Tyco safeguards Romanian Carrefour

When Carrefour expanded its presence of hypermarkets across 3 continents, they hired security system integrator UTI to establish loss prevention systems within their unique shopping environment. The security company met the challenge, equipped with state-of-the-art video surveillance equipment from American Dynamics and successfully improved Carrefour's security.

A hypermarket like Carrefours is essentially a super-sized supermarket that typically stocks some 70,000 items and has a sales floor as big as 20,000 square meters or approximately 215,000 square feet. But as of 1999, no one in Romania had yet seen a hypermarket — at least not on their home turf. Carrefour executives noticed the void, and devised a plan: open 2 hypermarkets a year in every Romanian city.

A crucial part of any retail endeavor is loss prevention. Shoplifting and employee theft or internal shrinkage can take a balance sheet from black to re. According to Jack Hayes, who conducts an annual retail theft survey, these are serious crimes that not only take a toll on retailers' bottom-line profits but also “hurt our economy, costing consumers higher prices at the cash register, and causing a loss of jobs when retailers are forced to close stores or even go out of business.” Unfortunately, this problem appears to be especially severe in Romania.

Seizing the Opportunity — and Securing It
“Because Romania is so far from our home base in France, I wanted to make sure that if there was a problem, someone would be there to fix it,” he said. Luckily, about this time, UTI Retail Solutions' Managing Director Simona Dinca heard about Carrefour's plans to enter Romania. She called to see if they could help.

Tyco Fire & Security's distributor for the region, UTI's had the technology to address security issues unique to the mega-sized hypermarket. Besson tested the products in their showroom and was impressed with the quality and performance. Very soon Dinca assembled a team and together they set about designing a security system tailored to hypermarket specifications.

Rolling It Out
The first store, Carrefour Militari, located in Bucharest, was slated to break ground in 2000 and would feature a sales floor of 10,500 square meters stocked with 50,000 products. That's a lot to keep an eye on, especially considering the unprecedented temptation such a vast selection of goods posed to the potential shoplifter who was unaccustomed to a market economy.

The UTI team addressed the challenge with 2 SensorRail video systems, 18 SpeedDomeR Ultra IV programmable dome cameras, 4 SpeedDome Optima programmable dome cameras, multiplexers, analog video recorders, and a VM96 matrix switcher system . All are from American Dynamics, part of Tyco Fire & Security's Access Control and Video Systems business unit.

After the installation, Besson had full video coverage of everything— from the commercial areas to the warehouses—just as he had requested. Moreover, The SensorRail, in particular, gives security staff a vantage point over all of the hypermarket's enormous display aisles. It's ideal for warehouses or high-ceilingedbuildings like a hypermarket, serving as a motorized perch for domes that noiselessly move along its tracks the same way a train does, only inverted, to close in on wherever the action is. “The SensorRail enhances the roving perspective that the SpeedDome Optimas offer,” said Viorel Luta, UTI's technical manager for the project. “Combined, they expand your ability to cover broad expanses of retail space far beyond what you can manage with a dome camera by itself.”

In addition, American Dynamics' IntellexR Digital Video Management System and Network Client had also been installed. Intellex enables Besson and his security personnel to establish a perimeter around certain areas, such as the place where employees make cash drops, so that anyone who crosses into these areas triggers an alarm. They can set alarms to go off based on the speed, direction, or size of an object in motion as well. For instance, someone entering the hypermarket through an exit door could trigger an alarm that would appear on the monitor screen.

On the other hand, Network Client grants Besson and his staff remote access to the system. As further protection against shoplifting, UTI outfitted the cash registers and entrances at all Carrefour stores with Acousto Magnetic Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS). EAS systems help curb shoplifting by tying together electronic article surveillance, video, and point-of-sale systems, and delivering real-time intelligence to the store or corporate office.

A Wholesale Success
The security installation at Carrefour Militari alone paid for itself in the recovery of stolen merchandise within 18 months, helping them catch an average of 10 wannabe shoplifters daily. And now, Carrefour has 4 hypermarkets in Romania.

“We're enormously pleased with how well our high tech surveillance equipment is performing,” said Besson. As he and his staff have found, it does more than stop shoplifters. Stores remain open as late as 10 p.m. and the surveillance cameras outside have helped deter car theft and acts of violence that are more prone to happen at night.

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