Case Study: Dymocks Booksellers

Video Surveillance

Melbourne VIC • B2C • Retail

Outdated equipment and increasing shrinkage of stock

Dymocks Booksellers is large chain of retail bookstores throughout Australia. With a focus on providing an exceptional customer experience, Dymocks prides itself on its large range of books and related gift products.

At their flagship Collins Street store, their previously installed analogue video surveillance system was showing its age. The system was having issues picking up on the finer details throughout the large format store. Identifying information such as facial features and fine details were not being picked up, and staff were noticing an increase in shrinkage in recent months.

Challenges finding a solution

To combat these issues, the store managers had decided to replace the existing camera system with high definition cameras. After spending a number of months contacting a range of security installers, they were unable to find a solution. This was because they were unable to provide a solution to Dymocks without a very costly rewiring of the entire security system, due to the type of cable used in analogue camera systems which is different from the cable used in high definition digital IP camera systems. Their fallback solutions were to simply upgrade the older analogue cameras with newer analogue cameras, which would not have provided management with the appropriate level of video quality required.

Our initial suggestions

When contacted by Dymocks, Justin, their licensed retail security specialist from Signal Security performed a site assessment which confirmed that there were going to be significant restrictions in cabling access. As an alternative to a traditional digital surveillance system, Justin was able to design a solution which involved attaching converters to the existing analogue camera cabling. These converters would then allow for high definition cameras to be used on the existing cabling, with no loss in quality when compared to a traditional digital solution.

Our extended solution

In addition to the converters, Signal Security were able to provide an enterprise level system that meant that the number of cameras weren’t constrained to the number of recording devices. Instead the option was now available to add cameras through the addition of extra camera licenses to the existing system, without the requirement for extra recording units. Alongside increased capacity, this solution will be more robust in the long-term and will offer additional built-in features including customer counts, heat mapping, missing object detection and obscured camera detection. The final solution incorporated 22 cameras, two of which were Samsung pan-tilt-zoom cameras with 43x zoom, controlled via a joystick.

With the increased number of cameras, the store managers are now able to view the entire store and pan, tilt and zoom on different areas when required. It also allows staff to keep an extra eye on areas of the store using iPads that have access to the surveillance footage, ideal for when staff are away from the front desk.

Conclusion

Upon completion, Dymocks Booksellers now have a fully capable, up-to-date camera system which is able to keep up with the rigour of a day’s retail trading at a fraction of the investment of a full system replacement.