Major Home Improvement Retailer

Business Objectives

  • Improved retail associate efficiency
  • Cost savings
  • Enhanced security and greater loss prevention

Key Statistics

  • Complete technology buildouts in more than 2,000 stores
  • New electronic pricing and IP camera systems for the entire network of close to 3,000 stores
  • More than $1 billion in savings from loss prevention over the last three years

The Scope of Work

  • Installation, cabling, and maintenance of new systems throughout the company’s 2,285-store network
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4K Cameras Capture Thieves —
Cutting Losses by $1B

This company is a major home improvement retailer with 2,285 stores across North America and the Caribbean, and Black Box is one of its most strategic technology providers. In a partnership spanning almost two decades, Black Box has handled turnkey IT infrastructure buildouts for more than 2,000 new stores – including all structured cabling to support point of sale systems, A/V systems and monitors, security cameras, and other critical systems.

Throughout the years, the company has relied on Black Box to keep its systems on the leading edge of technological innovation. Most recently, the company sought the expertise of the Black Box team for two key projects:

  • A system-wide rollout of electronic shelf labels that would create new cost savings and efficiencies for store employees.
  • An upgrade of CCTV systems from old-school analog cameras to the latest IP-based, 4K camera technology to enhance store security and reduce loss.

PRICE CHANGES MADE SIMPLE

The company turned to Black Box for a high-tech approach to a deceptively simple problem: how to streamline the process of updating price signage on merchandise as it goes on sale or prices change. Previously, a team of clerks in each store was required to manually update price tags, a time-consuming and sometimes error-prone process.

For the solution, Black Box devised an electronic pricing system that leverages the stores’ MPLS networks to enable instantaneous updating of prices on electronic devices. From the centralized headquarters location, marketing staff can make a single price update that is transmitted wirelessly and instantly to the electronic price tags – often tablet-sized or smaller – on the affected products in every store.

In April 2020, Black Box completed cabling and installation for the electronic pricing system in all of the company’s stores. While the initial focus has been on big-ticket items such as washers, dryers, and refrigerators, the next phase will be on garden center products and outdoor equipment.

EMBRACING THE IP CAMERA FUTURE

With outmoded analog security cameras installed in most of its stores, the company was facing key challenges with loss prevention. The lack of clarity in the camera output made it difficult to identify shoplifters and offer usable evidence for local law enforcement.

In a phased rollout over the past four years, Black Box is nearing completion of the company’s comprehensive upgrade to state-of-the-art, IP-based security cameras with crystal-clear 4K resolution. With Black Box providing all installation, cabling, and ongoing maintenance, the company has outfitted each store with up to 25 new Axis Communications cameras aimed at the cash registers, the entrances and exits, and the parking lot. Each camera is equipped with facial recognition technology and the ability to capture fine detail, including license plate numbers.

In the next phase of the upgrade, Black Box will upgrade cameras throughout the stores including all merchandise areas and warehousing facilities. Already, however, the customer estimates that the new cameras have saved it at least a billion dollars through loss prevention over the past three years.

A HIGH-VALUE, LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIP

This company values its two-decade collaboration with Black Box for several key reasons:

  • National and global reach. As a global systems integrator, Black Box is one of very few providers that can truly meet the requirements of a large, multisite company – and especially one with international scope. Black Box has a track record of working with large retail companies like this one, often with thousands of locations, and providing consistent, high-quality installations across the board.
  • Technology innovation. Black Box is committed to helping its customers address their biggest technology and IT challenges and get maximum leverage out of new and emerging technologies.
  • Comprehensive, turnkey solutions. With its global systems integration scope, Black Box is able to provide products and solutions from any vendor – ranging from world-leading networking providers to major audio and video technologies – and back up each solution with world-class maintenance and support.