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Sensormatic, a Tyco Retail Solutions brand, is a line of loss prevention and operational-improvement technologies for retailers. Originally known for its Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) systems, Sensormatic products now include Acousto Magnetic EAS systems and source tagging services to help stem losses from shoplifting, RFID-based hardware and software solutions for improved merchandise visibility and people counting technology for operational efficiencies. Sensormatic products are sold direct through Tyco businesses and authorized business partners around the world. Sensormatic Electronics Corporation was acquired by Tyco in 2001.[1]

History Sensormatic’s origins date back to 1965, when Founder Ron Assaf, then a store manager at an Akron, Ohio-based Kroger, became frustrated with shoplifting in his store. Together with his cousin, an amateur inventor, they developed the concept of putting electronic tags on merchandise in the store that would sound an alarm when passed in front of screen at the store exits if not properly removed at checkout. The concept later became known as Electronic Article Surveillance systems (EAS)

Sensormatic Electronic Corporation was first incorporated in 1966 and went public under the name Sensomatic Electronic Corporation in 1968. During the early years of the company, the two cousins hired scientists from the University of Michigan to develop a prototype EAS system. The patent for the first microwave-based (UHF) system was filed in 1968.

In 1986, Sensormatic formed a joint venture with Allied Signal Corporation, to develop the Acousto-magnetic (AM) technology, branded Ultra•Max®. This new technology first came to market in 1988 with the issuance of Patents 4510490 and 4510489 to Allied Signal. The rights to the patents were later bought by Sensormatic for the exclusive rights to the technology.[2] Today the AM technology is the foundation for all Sensormatic EAS-only systems.

On May 16, 1991, Sensormatic transitioned its stock from NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange (SRM) and built its revenues to over a billion dollars in annual sales prior to being acquired by Tyco International in 2001.

Acquisitions and Growth Over the years, Sensormatic invested in a number of key acquisitions to broaden its global reach and expand its solution offerings.

  • In 1991, it acquired American Dynamics to expand its video offerings
  • In 1993, it acquired Robot Research, a leading provider of advance video solutions[3]
  • In 1994, it brought the European rights to Knogo which opened up the market for its products in Europe.[4]
  • In 1994, it also acquired Software House to enhance its access control product line and expand its offerings to the commercial space.[5]
  • In 2008, Tyco added expanded RFID hardware and software solutions to the Sensormatic portfolio with the acquisition of Vue Technologies.[6]

Operations Today The company markets the Sensormatic retail solutions portfolio under its Tyco Retail Solutions division. To date, the Sensormatic portfolio holds more than 1,500 patents[7] and operates in more than 70 countries worldwide.

According to internal analysis of the market, approximately 80 percent of the world’s top 200 retailers that use EAS rely on Sensormatic solutions, including EAS, source-tagging data analytics and in-store, item-level intelligence applications to reduce loss, improve store operations and enhance the shopper experience. Some of these retailers include Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Macy’s,[8] Best Buy, Chico’s,[9] Inditex, FJ Benjamin[10] and ASDA.

As technology evolves, retailers are looking for solutions that do more than just thwart shoplifters. In order to help retailers derive the maximum benefits from their investments in EAS, Sensormatic EAS tags can now be coupled with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and inventory management software platforms to help retailers view real-time inventory availability and unit sales. Sensormatic solutions can also help retailers identify employee theft activity, vendor fraud and shopper traffic patterns. Pankaj Madhani (2011). RFID Deployment: Fast Fashion Retailing (Report). p. 40-51. Ti-Jun Fan (2014). Benefits of RFID Technology for Reducing Inventory Shrinkage (Report). p. 659-665.

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