Located throughout Persian Gulf counties is a quickly growing chain of stores known as Ramez Hyper Market. Currently there are 39 individual stores in this region. However, with an aggressive expansion strategy, this total is projected to balloon to 90 total stores within 5 years.
Reflecting this is the chain's presence in the country of Bahrain. Currently, this island nation has three relatively new stores that were opened progressively, one shortly after the other. Additionally, the Ramez Group is set to open its fourth Hyper Market within a matter of months. This chain's growth can be attributed to a number of factors, including the type of store it is, and the services it provides to its customers.
Ramez Hyper Market is a one-stop shop offering customers everything from home furniture to fresh products over multiple floors of retail space. Additionally, with amenities such as convenient outdoor or underground parking, and with the doors open for approximately 16 hours each day, shoppers have a convenient option to efficiently get anything they need, whenever they want.
However, unforeseen to most customers, this convenience comes with a security responsibility for Ramez ownership. Specifically, the Ramez Group's goal is to provide:
• the ability to monitor cars in close detail the moment they enter parking facilities
• the ability to closely monitor customers the moment they leave their car until the moment they return to it
• the ability to monitor each and every individual rack of goods within the store
• the ability to eliminate camera blind spots on retail floor space
IR Eyes Outside
Of the four Bahrain Ramez Hyper Market stores, each store uses a different parking strategy based upon its specific location and the logistical requirements of that store. One uses a combination of both outdoor and underground facilities; the others offer either open or underground, depending on their situation.
As noted, the Ramez Group wanted the ability to see detail, specifically license plate numbers. To achieve this goal, as well as the other aforementioned points, Al Wardi Security Trading Co. W.L.L. was chosen to act as integrator to not only Bahrain's Ramez Hyper Markets, but for all Ramez Hyper Markets throughout the Gulf Region, as well.
To provide Bahrain's Ramez Hyper Market with the ability to see license plate numbers and other similar detail, Murali Nambiar - Managing Director at Al Wardi Security Trading Co. W.L.L. - selected Hikvision's DS-2CD854FWD-IR5 3MP WDR Network Box Camera. This model was chosen for a variety of its technical capacities, but at the top of this list is a 50M IR range combined with a vari-focal lens. The IR range provides the needed distance to survey individual automobiles, while the vari-focal lens provides the means to see specific detail, such as license plate numbers.
The 2CD854FWD-IR5 3MP is placed on Hyper Market external walls, overlooking parking. Additionally, it provides quality overall perimeter security. While lights are present to somewhat illuminate the evening hours, the transition from day to night can be markedly different from one side of the building to the other. In this capacity, not only is IR important, as is a true day / night feature to automatically switch to infrared, and also wide dynamic range to take into account the glare of the sun at particular hours of the day.
Interestingly, this box camera is not designed as an outdoor camera. As such, it doesn't have an IP66 rating to protect it against the elements. However, Mr. Nambiar felt this was the camera for the job, so Hikvision designed a custom external housing unit to provide this needed protection.
Piggybacking the 2CD854FWD-E 3MP for parking is the DS-2CD2632F-I(S) 3MP Vari-focal IR Bullet Camera. Placed in underground parking structures, this bullet camera also takes advantage of many of the same technical specs such as the previous Hikvision box camera to provide coverage. However, in this case, the DS-2CD2632F-I(S) 3MP comes equipped with an IP66 rating.
Rounding out the external camera solution is the DS-2DF7284 Series 2MP IR Network Speed Dome. Utilized at only one Hyper Market location, this dome camera is placed on the corners of the building to help with particularly heavy customer flow, traffic congestion, and parking concerns. Programmed with a preset search scan, the DS-2DF7284 provides 180° of coverage on all four corners of the property location. If anything should catch the security operator's interest, this speed dome's 20x optical zoom provides the specific detail if further investigation is warranted.
Every Inside Inch Has Camera Coverage
The Ramez Group puts great onus upon internal camera coverage. For example, in the first two Hyper Markets, each rack of goods - regardless of type or location - has its own individual DS-2CD753F-E(I)Z 2MP Vandal Resistant Network Dome Camera covering it. In total, 188 units are dedicated to this approach.
As these racks are approximately 20 - 30 meters long, the DS-2CD2732F-I(S)'s 30 meters of IR range is perfect for this application. Additionally, while the store may be open to customers for two-thirds of the day, it is actually in use 24/7. This is due to the fact that "off hours" are dedicated to restocking, cleaning, and any other issues that may need address. During these eight nighttime hours, lighting is significantly dimmed, hence IR functionality comes into play. Additionally, should an unexpected power outage occur, this solution incorporates UPS as a one-hour backup. Furthermore, since store ceilings are not particularly high in many of these areas, this dome's vandal-proof housing also provides proactive insurance against customer and/or employee manipulation.
For the two newer stores, this function is being covered by the DS-2CD2732F-I(S) 3MP IP66 Network IR Dome Camera. Almost 230 units are utilized in this fashion. Essentially identical in function, this camera provides 3MP of high-resolution, where the former provided 2MP. However, this model is used in all stores to cover critical areas, such as the main entrance and cashier registers, to take advantage of the increase in resolution.
To eliminate blind spots and help provide "coverage of the customer the moment they enter the store until they return to their car," as Mr. Nambiar explained, is the DS-2CD8253F-EI(Z) 2MP IR Bullet Network Camera. However, this unit is more singular in purpose. Placed in corners, where architecture does not allow convenient access for a dome, this bullet camera fills in the coverage blanks of the overhead domes.
Wired In for Added Security
Utilizing Hikvision's DS-9632NI-ST Embedded NVR, each store has a central security room and is responsible for its own security needs. However, all four stores are tied into the Bahrain's Ministry of the Interior with a high-speed Internet connection. This allows not only store manages to remotely live monitor their stores via a LAN connection, but also authorities through the Internet. Mr. Nambiar notes this has substantially cut down on both response times to incidents, and efficiency in how they respond to them.
It is this Hikvision performance that the Ramez Group and Al Wardi Security Trading Co. W.L.L. plan to replicate in new Hyper Market locations throughout the larger Persian Gulf region.