By Samuel Strait – January 11, 2017 – Update: “Supervisor is doing something about securing hard liquor” as reported in the Crescent City Times on January 6, 2017. WalMart is putting security caps on its hard liquor bottles, not all, but most. The reason for the lack of universal application is simply some bottles are not a fit for any of the security caps currently on the market. The reason many retail outlets have chosen not to use the device is two fold, cost, and the ease of defeating these caps.
Mind, the caps are not something that is a State regulation, and as such it is up to individual retail outlets to decide whether or not to use them. According to a very pleasant and knowledgeable employee at Safeway, the store has been employing the devices on most of its hard liquor for about two years. I hope Ms. Turner feels better about our local retailers upon learning of that particular piece of information. The caps are any where from $3 to $5 and upwards for each cap. They are reusable, that is if they can be kept within the store. The experience of the employee at Safeway was that theft still occurred in spite of the security measure, as it was not fool proof. She went on to say It likely wasn’t of a sufficient deterrent coupled with high cost to make it cost effective for small retailers of hard liquor. For those two reasons alone security caps are most likely to be found only in large retail outlets where theft is large scale.
Along with Walmart here locally, both Safeway and Rite Aid employ the security caps. Safeway for at least two years, and Rite Aid “for some time”. All three stores use them on hard liquor bottles where the caps will fit. Both Safeway and Rite Aid continue to experience losses in their respective liquor department due to theft. I am told if you look carefully, the removed caps can be found in the areas surrounding both stores. Some are simply two part clear plastic caps that are supposed to need a special key to be removed, while others are more sophisticated strap like affairs. The caps are removed at the checkouts by the cashier for reuse.