A giant retailer has launched a new project as part of an effort to combat shoplifting.
Lowe executives see their “invisible” program as an alternative to strategies such as Walmart, which lock products in cabinets or store them behind plexiglass.
The computer chip is being used as part of the home improvement giant’s new program, Project Unlock, said Retail Leader.
Tags are added when creating items such as power tools.
However, drill only works if it is scanned at checkout.
This means that stolen items will not activate and will be effectively useless.
Seemantini Godbole, executive vice president and chief digital and information officer at Lowe, said:
The boss says the process is “almost invisible” to shoppers.
Developers at Lowe’s Innovation Labs have revealed that blockchain technology is being used to create a record of items purchased.
This publicly available database is a useful tool for retailers and law enforcement when verifying purchased and stolen goods.
The developer said:
Retailers have tried different strategies when trying to deal with theft-related incidents.
In December, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC that shoplifting was more common than “historically.”
McMillon feared that continued violations could have a negative impact on customers.
He warned: “Over time, if it’s not fixed, prices will go up and/or shops will close.”
Walmart has resorted to storing products behind cabinets and plexiglass, causing outrage among shoppers.
From pregnancy tests to socks, we have a range of products on the rocks.
A woman in California claimed that policy changes made shopping “impossible.”
She was outraged on Twitter.
“When I want eyeshadow, I have to bring an attendant to unlock the cabinet. It’s ridiculous.”
TikTokers and influencers have shared footage online showing items such as mascara trapped in boxes and dozens of beauty items stored behind plexiglass.
Los Angeles native Rex Freiberger told Reuters he found more and more items behind plexiglass while shopping at Walmart for the holidays.
But he was especially frustrated when the local outlet was understaffed.
Intended shoppers have also denounced policies that lock some items into cases.
The technology is also being used by two retailers as part of their efforts to crack down on theft.
The US Sun also reported how Walmart partnered with AI company Everscene in 2017 to deploy enhanced technology in its stores. This was years before the two companies were embroiled in lawsuits.
The lawsuit was “amicably resolved” in December 2021, an Eversen spokesperson said.
And retailers like Target and Walmart use carts with auto-locking technology.
While it can be difficult for shoppers to understand why the buggy suddenly stopped, the actual technology behind the wheels of the cart is simple.
Cables are hidden in the basement around the store.
When the cart reaches this boundary, the cable wirelessly activates the wheel motors.
The motor cranks a set of gears that push out a set of teeth that lock the wheel in place.