Case Study: Vision Veritas

RetailSafe with ForeverSafe™ Warranty - Case Study

Retail larceny and theft instances continue to grow yearly.  Businesses are looking for options to protect their people, their property, and their way of life.  One Texas company has developed an important component in that effort and one that has an auspicious lifetime goal.  But before we get to that, we have to explain what brought us to this point.

Incidents at retail establishments that feature a quick entrance and exit are more commonly known as “smash and grab” crimes.  “Smash and grab” involves forcibly breaking into a property or a vehicle (usually by smashing a window or door) in order to quickly steal valuable items, often with the intention of making a quick getaway. The term “smash and grab” implies that the criminals do not spend much time inside the premises or vehicle but instead focus on grabbing easily accessible items of value, such as cash, jewelry, electronics, or other valuables. This type of criminal activity is characterized by its speed and lack of sophistication, as the perpetrators aim to minimize the time they spend at the scene to reduce the risk of getting caught by law enforcement.

In Texas and throughout the United States there’s been a specific target of these crimes and it may come as a surprise.  The recipient of these unwanted intrusions is your local eyeglass store/ophthalmologist.  Why are these establishments in the crosshairs?  There are several reasons:

Resale Value: High-end sunglasses and designer eyeglass frames can be quite valuable. Thieves may steal them with the intention of selling them on the black market or online marketplaces for a profit.

Easy to Carry: Sunglasses and eyeglass frames are relatively small and lightweight, making them easy to steal and transport. This makes them attractive targets for thieves looking for quick, portable items to steal.

Fashion and Status: Designer sunglasses and frames are often seen as fashion accessories and status symbols. Some thieves may steal them for personal use to enhance their own appearance or to gift them to someone else.

Lack of Serial Numbers: Unlike some electronics or valuables, sunglasses and eyeglass frames often lack unique serial numbers or other easily traceable markings. This can make it harder for law enforcement to track stolen items.

Demand for Secondhand Eyewear: There is a market for secondhand eyewear, especially among consumers looking for affordable designer eyeglass frames or sunglasses. Some individuals may buy stolen eyewear without realizing it’s stolen.

Lack of Security Measures: Retail stores may not have stringent security measures in place for eyewear displays, making it easier for thieves to access and steal these items.

Quick Resale: Thieves may target sunglasses and eyeglass frames because they can quickly turn stolen goods into cash or other items of value.

One vision center in Texas stepped up their safety approach and put in the solution to keep intruders from breaking through their glass storefront and into the store.  They utilized RetailSafe™ glass featuring a ForeverSafe™ warranty from Ballistic Glass and Armor Solutions based in Addison, Texas.  This product was developed to retard the attack from the intruder and force them into a decision to move on.  The RetailSafe™ product is an advanced high-performance glass that can take significant beatings from a variety of objects and not be fully penetrated whereas even a hand can reach in.  The ability to “smash and grab” is gone.

In 2021, Vision Veritas was broken into and lost $70,000 of high-end eyeglass/sunglass frames from brands like Chanel and Cartier. They also had equipment and furniture damaged.

This was despite having a high-end, in-person security monitoring system and steel-clad doors.  The perpetrators broke through the glass to gain entry and were in and out in 3 to 4 minutes.  In addition, post break-in then, Vision Veritas had to board up the broken-out window, giving the space an awful and uninviting appearance while they waited for the glass to be replaced.

The property owner Luigi Carleo researched options that included the ForeverSafe warranty from Ballistic Glass and Armor Solutions and options like roll-down shutters.  Carleo ruled out the shutters because they could be broken into and damaged, leaving the property disrupted.  So he chose RetailSafe™ glass featuring ForeverSafe™

“We decided to make the investment in a product like ForeverSafe from Ballistic Glass and Armor Solutions because even with monitoring and alarms the key was to keep people out of our store and this was the product to do it and allow us not to have any disruptions in the operation,” Carleo said.

In early 2023, thieves decided to break into Vision Veritas again.  However when they went after the glass they found that their sledgehammer and other tools would not work against it.  Luigi had replaced all of his windows with RetailSafe and after the vandals tried three windows and failed, they left the property.  

While the glass had cosmetic damage, it did not allow the intruders to enter. And Vision Veritas could continue to work business as usual while the glass was replaced.

“We were quite happy we made the purchase of RetailSafe windows. We didn’t lose stock, didn’t suffer physical (to the store furnishings or equipment) or reputational damage, and allowed us to keep taking care of our customers” Carleo continued.

Cling-on sticker logos covered the cosmetic damage; no one outside the staff noticed or knew there was an attempted break-in.  The brand was protected, and staff and merchandise safe.  Another break-in could’ve cost another $70,000+ and drawn ire from insurance companies and suppliers who both have little appetite for the ability to protect the product.

The other key with RetailSafe glass is that even after an attempted break in, business can continue without disruption because the glass has stayed in place and there’s no need for unsightly plywood to cover.  Operations continue until a new undamaged piece is ordered and installed.

“A break-in with regular glass causes you to have a wooden or plastic board in place. That hurts the ability to business and customers do not want to come in.  With RetailSafe we know that if something happens, we can keep going and do so without the unsightly board-up blocking light and making the space unsightly,” Carleo added.

In addition, the RetailSafe glass can come with the ForeverSafe warranty that includes no charge replacement after an attempted break-in.  While some restrictions to the warranty apply, this provision adds even more peace of mind for the business owner.

“I strongly recommend RetailSafe glass with the ForeverSafe warranty to anyone who has a premium product like Vision Veritas has. The hidden costs that come out after a break in can be significant so an upfront investment in a product like this was well worth it,” Carleo concluded.

According to the most recent report from the National Retail Federation almost 70 percent of storefronts have reported an increase in theft the previous year, and the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail estimates that organized retail crime accounts for $45 billion in annual retail losses. With this unfortunate trend continuing ForeverSafe material is finding more usage throughout the retail spectrum including:

Electronics Stores, Jewelry Stores, Clothing and Fashion Boutiques, Pharmacies, Supermarkets and Convenience Stores, Auto Parts Stores, Home Improvement Stores, Toy Stores, Liquor Stores, Sporting Goods Stores, Art and Antique Shops, Cosmetics Stores, and Book Stores.

It’s important to note that retailers in any industry can take measures to enhance security and reduce the risk of theft, such as using security cameras, alarms, anti-theft tags, and staff training. The specific reasons for targeting a particular type of retail operation can vary, but they often involve the perceived value and ease of theft of the merchandise.  However the glass and glazing product is massive key component because it is built to be proactive vs. reactive.

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