Hikvision's two-megapixel network cameras are being used at supermarkets across Denmark to reduce theft and protect staff.
The client, Kiwi Mini Pris, is a discount shopping chain with over 500 outlets throughout Denmark and Norway. In Denmark the stores are run on a franchise system with each location having its own identity.
The customer required IP-addressable cameras across its premises, insisting on installations that would provide maximum protection against shrinkage without detracting from the shopping experience of legitimate customers through an overt camera presence.
The Danish Business Association estimates that shrinkage accounts for more than $0.9bn annually in the country's retail sector. Kiwi Mini Pris needed cameras in locations that are attractive to thieves such as aisles with alcohol displays. The company also required high-resolution images at cash tills to protect staff from attempts at fraud by customers as well as physical assault.
There was also a requirement to provide external footage from loading bays, with motion detection capability being important outside trading hours. Danish law requires that CCTV footage is not held by the retailer for more than 30 days and in the event of prosecution a store must provide officials with usable images in a timely manner.
The integrator on this project was Checkpoint Systems who specified Hikvision two-megapixel network cameras since store managers observing cash-handling activity needed the high-resolution image quality provided by progressive scan units.
Checkpoint Systems report that while 4 fps is normal, some stores are recording at up to 12 fps. The Hikvision cameras used here employ an H.264/MPEG4 codec.
The DS-2CD852MF-E cameras used at the Kiwi Mini Pris stores allow Texas Instruments DaVinci hardware compression as well as offering H.264 dual-stream compression. Users benefit from HD720P (1280x720) video preview while additional features include e-PTZ and masking of privacy zones. The Hikvision cameras were specified by the integrator on grounds of functionality, flexibility of optical performance and competitive pricing.
The installations are exploiting the efficiency of Hikvision's compression algorithms, making optimum use of RAID storage. Camera numbers range from 12 to 20 according to the size of the stores which have sales areas between 300 and 1,000 square metres.
At the Kiwi Mini Pris locations the Hikvision cameras are operating from Milestone's XProtect Corporate video management system, with footage being made available to the store manager, security teams and an internal audit department. Remote access is vital if a variety of stakeholders are to assess the images, and compatibility with point of sale software through open protocols was also part of the specification.
The client's focus is on using video for retrospective analysis rather than live monitoring, and Dagrofa management benefit from the exceptional mapping, scheduling and layout functions in the Milestone software.
Mr Polo Cai, Vice President of Hikvision, said: "Use of network cameras in retail areas not only empowers clients but allows them to communicate better with their supply chain. The images from our IP cameras can even be viewed on a web browser by individual grocery suppliers who may wish to see how point of sale material is used in the field. Rapid changes in store layout are common in retail and use of Cat5/6 on an open loop [as opposed to analogue wiring] allows our cameras to be moved easily when product displays are changed."
Kiwi Mini Pris currently employs in excess of 6,000 staff and its headquarters are in Brondby in eastern Denmark. The franchise structure of the business underlines the company's commitment to retailer independence.