Terry Dicken Business Park Feature Friday

Gatekeeper Systems


Gatekeeper Systems offer retailers intelligent cart (shopping trolley) and anti-theft solutions to minimise merchandise loss whilst focusing on the shopper’s experience.

Sounds grand doesn’t it? But what does it actually mean?


Crime pays

Pushout theft is the technique of choice for Organised Retail Crime (ORC) and everyday shoplifters. It refers to thieves that fill up shopping trolleys and simply leave the store without paying. Often using a decoy to distract security staff when the alarms go off, an average of £31,500 is lost by each supermarket store per year. And that’s not counting the cost of the trolley which is around £90 – who knew?

Thankfully Gatekeeper Systems have developed clever theft reduction technology. This works by physically stopping a shopping trolley from leaving the store if the goods haven’t been paid for.  Perhaps more impressively, with smart radio frequency technology the trolley’s wheels are locked, preventing movement and video is captured if shopper hasn’t completed a transaction prior to leaving the store.

Let’s hear all about it from Director, Richard;


From Disneyland to the Moors

“My background was in Security Management, where I sourced security personnel for UK retailers. I joined Gatekeeper Systems, whose HQ is in Orange County California, in 2012.

The company have been around for 23 years, the first 16 of which were managing cart control – that’s stopping people stealing trolleys.  Initially our UK team were based in Milton Keynes. Company growth dictated the need for more people and offices so we moved our UK sales operation to Stokesley in 2016.

In the last 3 years the “Purchek” technology has been so successful that we’ve seen our turnover grow by over 1000%. We’re now working with 3 of the 4 biggest UK retailers including having our product in every store of a popular German discount retailer.”


In the line of Duty

Richard’s passion for his work is obvious (think Steve Arnott* for shoplifters)

“When we first implement the new technology in a store we’ll do a “proof of concept”. Every store is different so we tailor the set up to suit. The key is reviewing CCTV footage looking for repeat offenders. They commonly start by gaining confidence by not paying for items in the self scan section. We help to identify the areas for improvement in both processes and resource after my work as a mystery shopper is completed.”

Yes, you did read that right, that’s Richard working undercover, shoplifting for a living. Eat your heart out Kate Fleming*!

“Once we have the proof that it’s working and we see losses reduce, we’ll roll out to more stores. It’s a very robust technology so we’re usually having a strong result in the first few weeks.”


Never judge a book by it’s cover

“We’ve literally saved UK retailers millions of pounds. The worst culprits are very often the least obvious looking shoplifters. We’ve caught mums with prams, families seemingly doing their weekly shop and well dressed ‘business people’ all stealing hundreds of pounds of merchandise, often on a weekly basis. I’m proud to say that our technology was the catalyst in apprehending and convicting an ORC gang responsible for stealing over £160,000 worth of goods from a UK retailer during 2020.”


Big things to come

“There’s so much exciting innovation here at the moment focusing on improving the in store shopping experience, for both the shopper and the retailers. From smart interactive retail displays that help you find the best deals in store to mapping the perfect route to your favourite items. It’s an exciting time to be in the industry.”


No place like home

With the amount of travel that Richard does it’s not difficult to guess what he likes about being based on the Terry Dicken Business Park.

“I initially chose the park because it’s close to home. Travel is great but you do need to recharge your batteries and what better place to do that!  The view from my office is fantastic. On a clear day I can see the Wainstones and I can be on a mountain bike trail in just a few minutes.

There’s also a host of complementary businesses to work with so it’s easy to support local. I’ve used HFC, Direct Business Supplies & Pearsons to name a few.”


Using their experience for good

Gatekeeper Systems have recently commissioned an independent report  – Understanding & Managing the Impact of Trolley Push-out thefts on retail losses.  For anyone in the retail sector looking to reduce losses it’s a must read. To get your hands on a copy email Richard at UK@GatekeepersSystems.com.


Gatekeeper Systems can be found at Roseberry Court, Terry Dicken Business Park, Ellerbeck Way, Stokesley TS9 5QT or visit their website 


*Refers to characters from the popular BBC show ‘Line of Duty.’ If you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading this now and switch on iPlayer, you won’t be disappointed!.

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