Retailers Grapple With Keeping Products Safe Without Inconveniencing Customers

Traditional anti-theft devices frustrate both would-be buyers and criminals alike

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Say you need a new stick of deodorant. You walk into your local drugstore and find the product you want. Except you can’t grab it. It’s sitting right there on the shelf among an assortment of brands and varieties, but it’s locked inside a plastic case.

You press a button to alert a store employee you need assistance. Then you wait.

This scenario has become increasingly common. More than three-quarters of American adults have seen everyday goods, from toothpaste to over-the-counter medication, locked up on store shelves, according to decision intelligence company Morning Consult.



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This story first appeared in the Oct. 24, 2022, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.