“Sweethearting” is Theft at The Point of Sale and Not Romantic for Retailers

shoplift Self-Checkout Scan-Avoidance Detection

  While our sweethearts capture our hearts and minds at Valentine’s Day, retailers are getting more vigilant about stopping them at the manned and self-checkout.

“Sweethearting” is one of retailers’ worst nightmares.  It occurs when cashiers pretend to scan merchandise but deliberately bypass the scanner, thus not charging the customer for the merchandise.  The customer is often a “sweetheart”, family member or fellow employee working in tandem with the cashier.

It also occurs when the customer at self-checkout does not scan merchandise and either pushes it through in the shopping cart or recyclable bag, bypasses the scanner, or weighs an expensive item as a cheaper item, i.e. a 49-cent/lb. banana for a $15.99/lb. steak.

StopLift Checkout Vision Systems’ Scan-It-All™ video recognition technology detects sweethearting and accidental scan avoidance at both the manned and self-checkout.  Working with retailers on four continents, including Tesco in the UK, StopLift has already detected and confirmed more than 650,000 incidents at thousands of checkouts.

“Our technology has found that sweethearting is as much as five times more likely to happen in the self-checkout lane,” said Malay Kundu, Founder and CEO of StopLift.”

Attendants at Woods Supermarkets, headquartered in Sedalia, MO, prevent sweethearting by offering a smile and a helping hand to make sure that all of a customer’s items get scanned and paid for.

“That is what we call aggressive hospitality,” says Doug Haworth, Director of Loss Prevention at Wood’s Supermarkets.  “The aggressive hospitality is a tactic to reduce sweethearting.”

To watch real sweethearting incidents – including self-checkout – tracked by StopLift, visit www.StopLift.com.

As soon as a sweethearting incident occurs, StopLift, which constantly monitors 100% of the security video, flags the transaction as suspicious.  It quickly reports the incident, identifying the cashier or customer and the date and time of the theft.  Scan-It-All works with existing off-the-shelf overhead cameras.  No special camera equipment needs to be purchased or installed, and no changes have to be made to the checkout. 

StopLift’s patented computer vision technology visually determines what occurs during each and every transaction to immediately identify fraud at the checkout.  Dishonest associates are identified on the basis of video evidence the very first time they conduct a fraudulent transaction, rather than months or even years down the road, significantly reducing inventory shrinkage, deterring future theft, and boosting profitability.  Customers are identified at the self-checkout.


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