Keeping digital media accessible to consumers poses enormous problems for retailers, but security cases of polycarbonate and copolymer polypropylene can solve marketing problems and minimize theft, proponents say.
Major retailers buy high volumes of security packaging from processors Emplast Inc. of Chanhassen, Minn., and Nexpak Corp. of North Canton, Ohio.
``The hard [PC] clamshells are the only thing the stores have any faith in,'' said Virginia Hodges, senior buyer for the productivity and utilities departments of retailer CompUSA Inc. of Dallas. ``They say the disposable ones don't work'' for first-tier titles and expensive software.
Budget video-game retail supplier SVG Distribution of Rancho Dominguez, Calif., focuses on lower-priced goods. SVG recognized the need to display goods outside of a locked case as a key trend in the recent selling season, said Daniel Monaghan, SVG vice president of operations.
A locked case offers the highest security, but sales suffer, Monaghan said. SVG found success using the disposable PP case, or keeper, with Electronic Article Surveillance tags, he said.
SVG, a business unit of Crave Entertainment Group, uses the disposable frames to protect impulse-buy video games in the firm's self-service displays.
Toys ``R'' Us Inc. of Paramus, N.J., uses disposable PP packaging for secondary game titles, but relies on PC for items with higher street values.
Retailers also require that theft-deterrent packaging work with automated systems and retain efficiency through all manufacturing and marketing phases.
``If I am a retailer and have a piece of software costing $9.99-$19.99, I use a disposable PP product,'' said Phil Sykes, Emplast vice president of sales and marketing. ``Truly, there is a separation in what kind of plastics security you apply to `live-sell' retailing.'' A $1.60 Emplast PC security case can go through at least 100 inventory turns. The retailer's cost is 1-2 cents per transaction to protect a $50-$60 video game, Sykes said.