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Solutions Showcase: Providing a State-of-the-Art Secure Personal Storage Solution for Retail (Digilock)

By Mila Adamovica

Digilock® is a global leader in delivering high-performance electronic locks and locker-security solutions that use patented technology on either a keypad or an RFID interface. Digilock’s ADA-compliant locks are offered in several architectural finishes, locking interfaces, functionalities, and security platforms and seamlessly integrate to any personal storage fixture and case good while their lockers deliver design, durability, and security through the comprehensive selection of door types, frame features, and storage configurations, always secured with locks by Digilock. Its commitment to providing superior customer support and responsiveness to market demands enables Digilock to be recognized as the industry influencer.

Every aspect of environment and operation impacts the experience that a retail facility provides. With a precision focus on style, ease-of-use, and lock management, Digilock enhances this experience with sleek and stylish security solutions.

How to Expand without Compromising Security

Digilock’s goal is to make security simplified®, blending science with the artistry that transforms the user experience. Digilock is seen in nearly all high-end locker rooms around the world, offering security and elegance that customers demand. The company also customizes products to fit a wide variety of applications across a multitude of diverse industries. Following is a case study that proves how the industry leader and the original manufacturer of electronic locker locks establishes the highest standards for unparalleled security solutions for locker rooms and personal storage areas.

La Maison Simons

La Maison Simons: Fashion for all.

La Maison Simons: Creativity, Architecture, Art

La Maison Simons is a popular Canadian fashion and home decor retailer that uniquely pairs its private-label fashion with higher-priced designers. After 175 years, La Maison Simons (simons.ca) is making a major aggressive expansion push in at least eight Canadian cities in the next four years.

“We had a vision of what we wanted to accomplish and be able to do in terms of design and innovation in retail, and I felt that we had to enlarge,” CEO Peter Simons said in a phone interview to The Canadian Press. Its new West Edmonton Mall store earned the Retail Store of the Year award from Chain Store Age for its innovative design, bright colors, and avant-garde fitting rooms that feature social-media-connected screens and a lighting installation that evokes the Northern Lights.

La Maison Simons

Julie Tremlay’s Morphodynamique art installation in the women’s accessories department.

Recently, La Maison Simons opened its tenth location – an 80,000-square-foot store at Les Promenades Gatineau. CEO Peter Simons realizes that “it’s definitely a very competitive, dynamic market, with a new equilibrium forming between electronic sales and bricks-and-mortar.” To stand out from the crowd, he put a strong emphasis on creating unique experiences both for customers and for employees. As in all new La Maison Simons stores, in the effort to enrich the community and to support the artists, it features a one-of-a-kind art installation. “We’re trying to create a unique proposition that fits in, that offers something different. We are going to do it through our store environments and also through social and interpersonal experience,” said Simons in an interview with The Montreal Gazette.

When the company is so focused on art and style and is so open to innovation, it comes as no surprise that its management strives to be consistent and wants to invest in improving its store appearance and functionality not only in the front but also in the back, in the store employee area.

La Maison Simons store locker room.

Installation of Digilock in the employee locker room.

The company has over 2,000 employees, and the issue of securing their personal items and belongings was solved easily with the installation of Digilock electronic locks—a perfect shared-use keyless security solution, operated with the input of a user-selected four-digit code. The retail store provides a readily accessible solution for its employees when they are able to secure their lockers for the duration of their shifts. After the locker has been opened and vacated by the previous employee, it becomes available for the next employee. In case of emergency, management simply uses a patented electronic “manager key” to easily access the locker with a single touch. This complete innovative line of keyless security solutions saves both money and time and requires minimal maintenance while contributing to loss prevention efforts with the auditable feature.

Robert Pretto, security and LP director at La Maison Simons, has chosen Digilock since 2012 to supply digital locks for all Simons stores’ employee locker rooms. Simons has been using the Digilock products for several years now and appreciates the value and the quality that Digilock provides. The main benefits of the product are its simplicity and proven reliability. Store management said, “We are happy with this effective solution for managing lockers and will continue to use the product in our new stores”.

La Maison Simons

The company is proud of its superior customer service and is inclined to invest into enhancing user experience. In two years, all employees will have iPads to access information about products and to instantly deliver answers to customer’s inquiries. “Local shoppers unfamiliar with Simons can expect a family feel across the chain,” said Robert Mackalski, a brand expert and faculty lecturer at McGill University.

Retail analyst Randy Harris of Trendex believes Simons’ gradual expansion will make it a “national powerhouse” in the Canadian apparel market. “We’re trying to hold on to this belief in creativity and architecture and art,” Simons pointed out in his interview with Carol Toller from Canadian Business magazine. With such a thorough approach to style, art, customer service, and sophisticated loss prevention solutions, no doubt this retailer is going to win the hearts of consumers.

Why Digilock?

Founded in 1981 and headquartered in California with sales offices in the Netherlands and Hong Kong, Digilock continues to innovate since it delivered the first electronic lock for personal storage in 1992. Combining security with simplicity, locks by Digilock operate with a patented electronic manager key for a credible management system that significantly enhances productivity and reduces cost. Delivered fully assembled and ready to use, lockers by Digilock provide a turn-key personal storage system. To this day, Digilock remains the number one preferred manufacturer of high-performance security simplified solutions for all industries.

Photos courtesy of La Maison Simons store management.

LP Magazine Nov-Dec, 2015

This article was originally published in Loss Prevention Magazine, November/December 2015 issue.

 

Posted in Digilock, employee lockers, Keypad and RFID Locks, Lockers, personal storage, retail, theft prevention | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Horizon Fitness Provides Sophisticated Lockers for Visitors

By Mila Adamovica

Electronic lock

Every day, consistent fitness activities help thousands of people change their lives for better. Horizon Fitness has over 25 gyms across Oman with three new openings in 2015. New exclusive ladies-only spa and gym at Horizon Fitness in the Sultanate of Oman are equipped with beautiful, glass-door lockers secured by Digilock.

Locker room

Locker room

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The Future of Locker Security

By Mila Adamovica

With technological innovations evolving faster than ever, what lies in the future of security solutions?

While it is a fact that locks originated in the Near East, little is known about who invented lockers. The earliest lock operated by a key was found in the ruins of Khorsabad near Nineveh, the capital of ancient Assyria about 4,000 years ago. After the invention of locks, people started to lock their personal and valuable items in lockers. Some scientists claim that a prototype image of a locker was identified while analyzing the Native Indians’ drawings.

Core locker

Modern secure locker with electronic locks

Technological progress has allowed engineers to deliver reliable lockers secured by keyless electronic locks. These advances provide unparalleled security solutions. The visionaries of Internet of Things (IoT) have a technological roadmap that predicts that physical objects will soon be able to sense, analyze, communicate with each other, and interact on their own without human intervention. Imagine your locker talking to your car or phone and being able to sense your arrival and unlock itself as soon as you enter the locker room and approach your locker!

According to the new research from IDC, the global IoT market will grow from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020.

vintage school locker

Traditional metal locker

Why upgrade your lockers?

Not all lockers are created equal. The majority of students and public recreation centers are still using the traditional metal lockers with built-in combination locks or padlock hasps where users bring their own lock. While this traditional locker is sturdy, there is high-maintenance in assigning the lockers not to mention the low resistance to graffiti, scuffs, stains and dents. This type of lockers was intended for a short- or long-term private use by individuals in public places. Today, manufacturers offer sophisticated lockers in a number of door configurations that are durable, cost-effective, low-maintenance and include features such as ventilated panels, continuous hinges, integral cross body frames, and a wide variety of door materials including wood, laminate, polycarbonate, plastic, phenolic, and glass. These modern solutions are secured by keyless electronic locks that include either a keypad or an RFID interface. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) was considered by Kevin Ashton, the founder of the Auto-ID Center at the MIT, as a prerequisite for the Internet of Things. With dramatic looks and high-caliber performance, new lockers transform school halls and recreation center locker rooms into exceptional spaces.

Why is it a good time to replace the old-fashioned lockers with the best ones that security industry has to offer?

Security is a rising concern. According to the 2014 BI (Business Insider) Intelligence Survey, 39% of the respondents stated that security is the biggest concern when adopting the Internet of Things technology. Upgraded lockers deliver an exceptional user experience while also offering the highest level of security from inlay doors to robust frames and electronic locks that even offer the ability to track locker usage.

Second, schools and recreation centers should not be lagging behind with the outdated technology when everyone else reaps the tangible benefits of using innovative security solutions. Being an early adopter allows campus and recreation management to turn a disruptive technology threat into a business opportunity. Out-of-the-box locking solutions provide the flexibility to integrate into existing systems and to adapt to the evolving modern space.

IoT

The Internet of Things’ total connectivity: lockers. Illustration by Jim Morales

In the era of continuous innovation scientists, engineers, and manufacturers are working on creating dynamic integrated systems. In the future, reserving and operating lockers in school locker rooms and recreation centers, ordering food at a school cafeteria, granting access to classrooms, school’s events and dorms will be possible with a Unique Identifier assigned to both animate and inanimate objects. We do not yet know the full potential of the Internet of Things’ total connectivity, but the undisputable advantage of IoT is that it eliminates human error factor, saves time, costs and resources. According to McKinsey Global Institute 2013 report, “The Internet of Things allows businesses and public-sector organizations to manage assets, optimize performance, and create new business models.”

Mila Adamovica is marketing communication specialist for Digilock, a global leader in electronic locks that use patented keypad and RFID technology. For more information, visit www.digilock.com.

This article was originally published in Campus Recreation Magazine, November/December 2015 issue, p.48.

Download Solutions 101: The Future of Locker Security

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The Power of Green: A New Approach to Locker Room Security

By Mila Adamovica

Developing products with environmental benefits in mind is challenging. Although the proper use of recycling bins and the “reduce-reuse-recycle” mantra have become iconic, is it also true if a product is 100 percent recyclable that it is sufficient to categorize it as “green”? Yes. However, other important factors make the product environmentally attractive. Creating consistent eco-friendly choices takes a lot of determination.

What are the key factors that help us keep the planet green?

Green locker

  • Efficient use of materials is one of the keys to sustainability. Reusable and recyclable products reduce waste and allow for the extended use of these materials.
  • Another way to go green is to reduce the amount of materials that the manufacturer uses to make a product.
  • Salvaged materials that meet all the requirements conserve energy and resources.
  • Durable products do not have to be replaced frequently, as they can withstand demanding environments.
  • Low-cost cleaning and maintenance also contribute, because there is no need to use harsh chemicals to maintain the products.

Although the Federal Trade Commission does not recommend using such terms as “green,” “eco,” “environmentally friendly” and “recyclable,” marking them as being potentially deceptive, these terms are familiar to global consumers and recognizable in various industries worldwide. Truly green companies adopt sustainability as a key consideration in their decision-making process and apply sustainable practices throughout their operations. Green leaders eliminate, or at least significantly minimize, the use and the production of harmful chemicals, excess materials, and waste byproducts. Thorough and careful specification of such products has become critical for manufacturers in achieving credits toward their products being certified as green.

Green Business vs. Green Politics

Environmental law is based on the assumption that economic development pollutes the environment. The goal of environmental policy is to provide the cleanup after the pollution has occurred. As opposed to the political debate, sustainability management states that economic prosperity is based on a healthy environment and that pollution should be prevented by implementing sophisticated production cycles, efficient use of raw materials to reduce waste, a shift to renewable and recycled materials, and the use of innovative materials that have no impact on the environment. Thus, it is a myth that we must trade off environmental health for economic growth.

Motivation for Going Green

Go Green

A wide range of reports from industry influencers and academia lead to the conclusion that going green is becoming an increasingly attractive business strategy. In 2011, MIT Sloan School of Management measured sustainability efforts, and released a study that found that:

  • 68 percent of respondents said that their organizations increased their commitment to sustainability. This was a substantial increase compared to 2009 when only 25 percent of respondents reported that.
  • 67 percent stated that sustainability strategies were necessary to be competitive, a 12 percentage increase compared to 2009.
  • 28 percent believed sustainability was a core strategic consideration, and 42 percent said that although it was not a core consideration, it was on the agenda permanently.

In 2012, a similar study conducted by Siemens and McGraw-Hill Construction noted that 42 percent of companies agreed that “Sustainability plays a key role in their business operations,” which is significantly up from 18 percent in 2006.

Green businesses are reporting a substantial advantage over their competitors because of the “green stickiness” factor. They are able to develop high-trust relationships with conscious consumers who are willing to pay a higher price for a green product. A 2009 GMA/Deloitte Green Shopper Study found that “once a more sustainable product has captured the shopper’s commitment, it tends to retain the shopper’s loyalty.”PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that companies that make substantial sustainability efforts report having a greater return on assets than companies that do not make such efforts.

Green Technologies Transform Locker Rooms

Forward-thinking manufacturers strive to make a fresh statement by applying green standards to their products. The information is collected from green chemistry, environmental science, and conservation biology. For example, manufacturers of locks and lockers have responded to the market demands for sustainable products by providing a wide range of “green” lockers and related locking hardware to suit customer needs and satisfy strict industry requirements.

Standard with this green type of locker solutions are keyless electronic locks and quality hardware including European soft-close hinges and a heavy-gauge steel body, ensuring high security, reduced noise level, elegant style and the convenience of a keyless locking solution.

Steel has always been valued as a clean recyclable material. To improve inside air quality, manufacturers have developed environmentally friendly powder coating for steel lockers, eliminating the presence of volatile organic compounds. Although many managers prefer the durability and ease of use of steel lockers, facility managers of locker rooms in moist environments, like swimming pools and spas, are looking for alternative solutions. This motivates manufacturers to continue working on creating and providing innovative security solutions for sports and recreation facilities that meet the customer needs and at the same time meet sustainability standards.

Facility managers now have an opportunity to choose from a wide array of lockers that satisfy their aesthetic preferences and functionality requirements while also being environmentally friendly.

Lockers are available with glass, metal, wood or phenolic doors in a number of designs and colors to effortlessly fit into any sophisticated design and décor. Solid surface glass doors are made of recycled and rapidly renewable material, and ensure durability and ease of maintenance as they resist moisture, scratches, and heat. Elimination of the need for frequent replacement makes them a good choice for heavy-use environments, such as schools, recreation centers, and sports and fitness clubs.

Surprisingly, the widespread use of synthetic materials is a noticeable advancement in green locker manufacturing, because they have a high amount of post-consumer recycled content. Lockers with solid high-impact-resistant phenolic doors are an increasingly popular choice among architects and consultants. The composite nature of the phenolic resin in a wide array of colors and patterns direct from nature makes it a perfect product for humid environments.

Lockers composed of wood are especially popular in higher-end health clubs and collegiate athletic locker rooms. Environmental groups criticize wood clear-cutting as being destructive to the water, soil, and atmosphere and recommend the use of sustainable alternatives. Healthy ecosystems and environments are necessary to the survival of humans and other organisms. The movement protesting the cut of virgin woods created an opportunity for the scientists to develop a composite wood material. In comparison to virgin wood, composite wood recycles mill waste and old pallets. The enhanced durability of composite wood makes it the best long-term investment for sports and recreation facilities.

Every aspect of environment and operation affects the experience the sports and recreation facility provides to visitors. It is easy to enhance that experience with “green” lockers and continue to make a positive impact on the environment. By combining architecturally-inspired design with precision engineering, lockers can be designed to create truly exceptional spaces while contributing to sustainability. It is no wonder why green lockers are a preferred choice for contemporary health and fitness facilities, athletic locker rooms, educational institutions, hotels, spas and office environments.

Why Choose Green?

According to the National Green Buying research conducted by Opinion Research Corporation in 2009, four out of five people say they are buying green products and services. Twenty-one percent of consumers say a product’s reputation is the main factor influencing their purchasing decisions, 19 percent indicate word of mouth, and 15 percent, brand loyalty. Surprisingly, only 24 percent of consumers verify green claims by reading the packaging, and 17 percent by reading and doing research online. One in three consumers does not know how to check if a green product claim is true. One in 10 customers trusts green product claims without checking. Nevertheless, green perceptions now drive half of consumers’ purchase decisions. In 2015, a poll conducted by Time Magazine found that almost 50 percent of Americans valued environmental protection over economic growth, more than 60 percent had purchased organic produce within the previous year, and nearly 40 percent made purchases based on the social values of the manufacturing company.

Sustainability has an impact on our business decisions and lifestyle choices. There is mounting evidence that human and business activities are having a global effect on the environment. To play an active role in supporting green activities in communities, consumers should start with supporting environmentally responsible local businesses that have a long-time commitment to sustainable business practices.

This Guest Column was originally published in Recreation Management magazine in October 2015.

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Lockup by Digilock Reduces Shrink and Contributes to Retail Profitability

By Mila Adamovica

Lockup logo

As a manufacturer of electronic locks and lockers, Digilock® is thriving in the security solutions industry expanding beyond the traditional security markets into securing personal belongings. The evolution of Digilock’s product offerings is driven by the market demands for personal security. In 1992, the company was the first to introduce a keyless electronic lock for cabinets and lockers. Today, manufacturing electronic locks is one of the fastest-growing segments of the security and access-control marketplace. IHS, a global information company, forecasts that the global market for electronic locks will exceed $1 billion in 2015.

Why Is Fighting Shrinkage Challenging?

The importance of loss prevention is a major topic of discussion across the retail industry these days. One of the latest retail security surveys stirred another round of magazine publications and social media posts regarding the reasons of the increase of the so-called “shrinkage.” According to the 2015 National Retail Security Survey, conducted by the National Retail Federation and the University of Florida, two main culprits are shoplifting and employee theft.

Retail Shrink Pie-Chart

Statistics from 2015 National Retail Security Survey

As Oscar Wilde said, “I can resist anything but temptation.” “The average loss for internal theft is nearly five times that of shoplifting,” says Los Angeles Times editor Nick Shively’s article.

Dr. Richard Hollinger, a criminology professor at the University of Florida, who leads this annual study, pointed out during a Q&A with Los Angeles Times reporter James F. Peltz, “There is no form of property crime in America that adds up to $44 billion a year. Bank robberies, household burglary, auto theft, none of them. In fact, if you add all of those up, they don’t get close to $44 billion a year.”


“Digilock, committed to developing new products that are driven by customer demands, created a perfect loss prevention solution for retail environment—Lockup—to add to the holistic loss prevention strategy and to enforce the traditional loss prevention activities.”


Another study, The Global Retail Theft Barometer™ report, was carried out in 2014 by Checkpoint Systems, which teamed up with The Smart Cube and Ernie Deyle, a retail loss prevention analyst. It was conducted in twenty-four countries among 222 retailers representing $744 billion in sales in 2013. The lowest shrink rates were recorded in Norway (0.83 percent of retail sales), and the highest rates were recorded in Mexico (1.70 percent) and China (1.53 percent). The United States came in at 1.48 percent of retail sales. With the evolution of loss prevention techniques, retailers have been able to reduce shrink as a percent of sales; however, the actual dollar loss due to shrink continues to grow according to Alan Fanarof, retail practice head ANZ, Cognizant.

To reclaim lost revenue, retailers are using different means to develop employee awareness about the vital importance of loss prevention. The most common way is to perform extensive new employee background and references checks and to communicate conduct guidelines during the new employee training, focusing on the severity of the employee theft issue and its consequences. Another approach is to continuously work on developing good relationships with employees. Companies with the lowest turnover rates have the lowest internal theft rates.

Although most stores have a strategy in place to fight shrinkage, the statistical research shows that, despite all the retailers’ efforts, the industry has hit a plateau in the fight against shrink. According to FBI reports, employees’ theft is the fastest-growing crime in America. Now the dilemma emerges—how to stay ahead of the curve and prevent shrink in stores, while providing secure storage for employee belongings. As the saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

How Lockup Solution Works to Combat Shrink

Lockup

Employee merchandise theft that does not involve a cash register is difficult to identify because you have to catch it in the act. It is much easier to proactively prevent this kind of theft than to deal with it after it has already happened. What proven methods empower stores to dramatically curb retail shrink? Digilock’s patented technology and responsiveness to market demands is ensuring security simplified® with an out-of-the-box approach that allows a locker to be always available for each employee to secure belongings.

Options include a clear polycarbonate door giving store managers the ability to see the contents inside the employee lockers, contributing to internal theft prevention. The procedure is simple: store employees gain access to their lockers with the entry of a four-digit keypad code, and the store management controls and audits the lockers by using an electronic manager key.


“Digilock’s patented technology and responsiveness to market demands is ensuring security simplified® with an out-of-the-box approach that allows a locker to be always available for each employee to secure belongings.”


Lockup® delivers a top-of-the-line employee locker complete with the security of a shared-use keypad lock. The locker is manufactured from heavy-gauge powder-coated metal to withstand heavy use in demanding environments. It is delivered ready-to-use, fully assembled with pre-programmed electronic keypad lock. Lockup locks are designed specifically for retail employee use, where multiple shifts are scheduled throughout the day. This shared-use technology allows employees to occupy one locker during their shift, and once vacated, the locker is available for another user. The electronic manager key permits locker audits and provides external power for locks. Lockup offers retailers a cost-competitive solution for secure personal storage and a shrink-reduction plan. Digilock, committed to developing new products that are driven by customer demands, created a perfect loss prevention solution for retail environment—Lockup—to add to the holistic loss prevention strategy and to enforce the traditional loss prevention activities. Lockers enable store management to take proactive steps to ensure merchandise is not lost.

Contact us at 707-766-6000 or sales@digilock.com for a free demo locker and learn why Lockup is the preferred employee locker choice among retailers. Or visit us online at lockup.com for more information.

This article was originally published in Loss Prevention Magazine, September-October 2015 issue, p.67-68.

Download: LP Magazine Solutions Showcase: Lockup by Digilock Reduces Shrink and Contributes to Retail Profitability.pdf

Posted in Lockers, Lockup lockers, Product Showcase, retail, Security, solutions showcase, theft prevention | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Extravagance at Las Vegas’ Hotel Bellagio

By Mila Adamovica

Las Vegas Hotel Bellagio delivers the luxurious extravagance! Nothing says this better than Bellagio’s exquisite five-pool courtyard, its spa retreat, and a fitness facility. Adding to the spa area decor, high-end lockers with instantly-set 4-digits code locks enhance the spa experience with the unique design and the complete safety. Digilock is proud to be Bellagio’s provider of sophisticated lockers and locks for spa and pool guests to safely secure their belongings.

BELLAGIO

Digilock offers unparalleled security solutions with a precision focus on style, ease of use and lock management. The company delivers exceptional experiences for its customers and builds strong relationships around the world.

Four whirlpools adjoin in a spa area at the Bellagio.

Bellagio’s Fitness center.

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Posted in Digilock, Electronic Locks, fitness facility, Keypad and RFID Locks, Lockers, Security, sophisticated locker, Spa and resort lockers, theft prevention | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment