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What Made the Ink Tag So Important


The phenomenon of the ink tag introduced a transformational type of theft deterrence—benefit denial. As long as the security devices cannot be defeated before the protected merchandise is damaged or disabled, then benefit denial is a more powerful and permanent “capable guardian” of merchandise than anything else available.

Secondarily, the original introduction of ink pins like Kno-Glo, CombiClip®, and Inkmate allowed EAS users to add the power of benefit denial to reinforce the deterrent. Loss prevention executives realized that the combination of EAS and benefit denial forced the thief to “do something” with the tag inside the store or run the risk, however insignificant, that the alarm would cause a problem as they left the store.

My ringside seat provided an opportunity to witness a few transformational security initiatives, such as EAS, dome-oriented video monitoring, and benefit-denial devices. The ink tag saga is my all-time favorite.