Enhancing security at Harvey Nichols

March 2009 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

Using a solution from Honeywell, Harvey Nichols now has a state-of-the-art security system ensuring the safety of its stock, staff and premises.

Founded in 1813 as a linen shop, Harvey Nichols is an international luxury lifestyle store, renowned both in the UK and internationally for its extensive range of exclusive fashion merchandise. It houses many of the world’s most prestigious brands in womenswear, menswear, accessories, beauty, food, and home accessories.

The original and flagship store is in Knightsbridge, London, but it has now expanded to other cities in the UK and, in September 2005, opened the 32 000 square foot store in Dundrum, Dublin.

As a business that sells such exclusive and high-value merchandise, the company required a comprehensive CCTV management solution that would protect its property, staff and premises and ultimately reduce shrinkage.

For Harvey Nichols, loss prevention is a high priority and whilst the primary requirement is to protect the store’s merchandise – especially as some items retail at £1,5m – the bespoke security system is also designed to protect the store’s staff and buildings. The system specification included innovative products with industry-leading features and demanded the highest quality. For the owners it was imperative that CCTV images of evidential quality could be captured and recorded to ensure a high conviction rate when needed. Also, with ambient lighting being employed in the evening in certain departments, the cameras installed had to provide the same high quality of image in low level lighting conditions as they did in normal lighting conditions.

The recording solution needed to be easy to use with realtime recording so that an immediate response to any incidents could be implemented. As with all retail environments, floor space is very valuable and so the recording and monitoring solution had to fit into a compact security office. Additionally, the system had to integrate with a series of panic alarms positioned in specific areas of the store.

Finally, it was important that the design of the CCTV domes and cameras needed to complement and blend into the store’s contemporary design providing effective but aesthetic monitoring.

Blue Rock Security Solutions was one of several companies invited to submit proposals for a suitable and effective solution. Its first step was to undertake a complete assessment of the requirements for Harvey Nichols, reviewing the site itself and understanding how the company’s requirements could be expected to change over time as it continued to grow. Blue Rock concluded that the best solution was to propose the installation of a system from Honeywell Security. Brian Lenahan, Harvey Nichols’ head of security services comments, “The Blue Rock proposal was chosen as they understood our needs precisely and offered such excellent personal service.”

A 32-camera system was installed using microspheres from the Honeywell Orbiter range. This was connected via a MaxCom 32/8 matrix with images recorded and stored on two x HRHD16 digital video recorder (DVR). This has a built in multiplexer that can record up to 16 cameras at the same time. This Honeywell DVR was recommended because of its high quality performance, multifunctionality and ease of use. It was also recommended because it provides excellent picture quality from the cameras. CCTV images can be quickly and easily transferred on to CD, USB or separate hard drive.

As part of the security solution provided, Blue Rock’s ability to offer a comprehensive, highly dependable and flexible service level was a key requirement for Harvey Nichols. As an example, once the system was installed and the store open, any on-site technical support had to accommodate the store’s opening hours. Typically this would mean that on-site support had to be carried out between 1 am and 8 am, when the store was closed.

In addition, in the unlikely event of any faults, Harvey Nichols was able to benefit from the Advance Replacement programme that Honeywell offers ensuring that downtime was eliminated.

The benefits

Using a solution from Honeywell, Harvey Nichols now has a state-of-the-art security system ensuring the safety of its stock, staff and premises. With high power cameras positioned all over the interior and exterior of the stores, high quality images are being captured 24/7 that can be used as evidence if required.

The result is that staff and customers feel safer, criminals are deterred and the in-store security team can be confident that it has effective security equipment with which to monitor the behaviour of its customers.

The Orbiter range of cameras offers the best surveillance for both night and day. Full colour surveillance is provided during the day, with an automatic changeover to mono at night when light levels are lower but the quality of the image needs to be maintained. The easily set-up presets assist in the establishment of a number of programmable camera tours encompassing pan, tilt and zoom sweeps of key areas within the store. Perfect picture quality is achieved by advanced auto focus control to ensure that, no matter what the zoom position, the picture is in the sharpest-possible focus.

Covering service vehicle delivery areas and surrounding streets, Orbiter Microspheres have been deployed to maintain a watchful eye in these areas too. The high power zoom capability of the domes positioned high up on the outside of the building ensures that the vicinity around the store can also be seen clearly to help prevent security breaches from occurring before any suspected criminals reach the store. To increase the level of security of the Harvey Nichols’ staff, the CCTV cameras are connected to panic alarm buttons positioned discreetly in certain departments. Upon activation, pre-sets are quickly retrieved by the Orbiter and the relevant images recorded.

And for the recording solution, the HRHD DVR is easy to operate and offers realtime recording. If there is an incident, the images can be checked within seconds to get information and evidence to pass on to the police. All recorded information is downloaded once each month for archiving.

Reduced shrinkage

The security system installed not only acts as a deterrent but, when needed to supply evidence in order to catch shoplifters, can do so effectively with minimum delay.

Working in conjunction with the Garda, Ireland’s National Police Service, Harvey Nichols is requested to maintain a good level of recording and keep all of the recorded video for a minimum of 28 days. The Honeywell HRHD 16 DVR used ensures that all recorded content can be retrieved easily and events searched speedily. The CCTV images can quickly and easily be transferred on to CD, USB or to a separate hard drive to be given to the police in relation to a specific time and date.

The evidential quality of the CCTV images has really amazed the Garda, leading to a high rate of convictions for shoplifters. In a recent episode, Harvey Nichols experienced a loss of eight luxurious suits. The event was easily retrieved by the Harvey Nichols security team and evidence provided to the Garda within minutes to ensure arrests were made the same day.

For more information contact ADI Global Distribution, 0860 22 55 23, orders@adi-intl.com, www.adi-intl.com


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