Are you being watched?! Or are you watching?!

Here’s a great blog posted by Mondelez International,
“3 Unique ways to use micro market video surveillance beyond fighting theft.”
Really makes us wonder … who’s watching us?!


Here’s the blog: (P.S. It features a few of our favorite operators!)


Video cameras in micro markets are commonplace. In the unattended retail space, video cameras act to dissuade employees from dishonestly taking product. They are also beneficial for micro market operators when it becomes known that employees are misusing the concept. When shrinkage begins to increase above a normal level of 1 to 2 percent in micro markets, operators use video surveillance to find perpetrators.

But can video surveillance be used for more than just simply catching would-be thieves? While the answer isn’t as simple as it appears, some operators report that they do indeed use their video surveillance in unique ways.


Video surveillance can be used to look at micro market merchandising and analyze whether or not layout is working. On a quarterly basis, pay close attention to the pattern of movement where customers are stopping and looking at items in different markets. By learning where your consumers move in the market, it’s likely you’ll find issues with product placement and layout. Try rotating items to keep a fresh look in the market and pinpoint where ‘dead product’ is located.

John Ward, president of Serenity Market Vending in Rockford, IL, uses video surveillance to refresh his micro markets and recommends that operators rotate slow movers out and wait one month to bring them back. “This causes customers to take notice when the products return and they have a renewed interest in the items,” he said.

The next time you’re watching a video for theft, look closely at the places your customers are spending the least amount of time and take a moment to evaluate ways to increase traffic in those areas. Be sure to include a sign in your market, too that informs customers that there are cameras.

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Video surveillance can also be used to ensure the market is operating as expected. Five Star Food Service, located in Chattanooga, TN, uses one of its full-time loss prevention employees to look at video in its markets to check on compliance, execution and ensuring that all cameras and DVR’s are operating correctly.

The company developed a weekly remote compliance report that’s used to check if the markets are stocked correctly, placements of products are correct, and promotional information is in place. Additionally, the company routinely looks at the cameras and placements of cameras to ensure they are working correctly. “You would be surprised how many need to be replaced or repaired,” said Mark P. Stephanos, vice president, micro markets at Five Star. “[The report] has really assisted us with ensuring there is another set of eyes in the markets on a more frequent basis.”



Food tampering in micro markets is a topic that has gained the attention of health department officials in the U.S. With no person present in a micro market, how will operators protect people from situations that may compromise food safety? NAMA, the association representing the $25 billion U.S. convenience services industry, is arguing that surveillance can be used as a way to find and prosecute any food tampering.

If a health official begins to question the safety of food items in a micro market, discuss that the markets are monitored via video surveillance 24/7. It’s also worth mentioning the levels of theft in your micro market. Larry Eils, NAMA’s health and safety knowledge source partner, told, “If theft is under control, then tampering will be under control, too. That’s the argument we [NAMA] will likely take with the FDA.”


Video surveillance does not come without its fair share of issues, however. Sometimes the technology isn’t always up to snuff. Video footage often goes through the internet connection and pulls from the bandwidth of the connection which can slow performance down if the connection is not good at a site. The cost of good video footage can be a deterrence, too.

Plus, it takes a lot of time for operators to watch video footage — time that could be spent focusing on a proper micro market planogram, getting new products or putting a loyalty program together. In the end, though, operators should be watching their micro markets on a routine basis and using video surveillance could be one way to do this without physically traveling to the market itself.

It’s a tool that operators already own and that can be used in a variety of ways. Successful operators have reported using data from video surveillance to help drive planning on space to sales, redesign payment areas with more impulse space, and add more incremental equipment and new merchandisers that pull away from the wall.

When installing micro market security, think about how you can utilize the data it’s collecting and place the equipment in areas that will allow you a visual of the entire market. Think outside the box and use surveillance for more than fighting theft.

Three Square Market has even more ways that you can use your surveillance data thoughtfully and quickly! Give us a call to learn more!

Here is one of our favorite examples … and it’s a good laugh!


Attract Talented Millennials


Here’s a blog post we LOVE, written by Juan Gonzalez on LinkedIn:

“Have you ever wondered why is hard to attract and retain good young talent? After talking to several benefit service companies, recently employed millennials, and HR managers, I concluded that aside from financial security, the company’s health perception is up at the top of their priorities. “When asked to define ”healthy,” Millennials are more likely to define it as “eating right” compared with earlier generations.” -What’s Your Healthy Survey, Aetna 2013

Millennials not only come wired technologically, but are more conscious about their environment than we think. For them, a more humane society is important, but also a healthier society. They are very concerned about how our country it’s been fed, and the health damages our food is causing to our future generations. Millennials are extremely conscious about the escalating numbers of young adults developing obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. They say, that is very scary for them.

When Silicon Valley companies started offering access to healthy food as part of the perks when attracting and retaining young talent, it became obvious that healthy food was a key benefit for retain the millennial generation.

If you really care about the future of managers and c-suite executives of your company, it is better to start considering healthy food as one of the top benefits to attract and retain younger generations. Why wait?

Juan Gonzalez – Founder

(CLICK HERE to view his original post.)

Pick And Ship


We understand you need to focus on what’s most important for your business. That’s why we’ll take care of the rest for you! Let us do the heavy lifting and be your warehouse. All you need to do is stock your shelves, collect your money, and maintain your inventory.

OUR expertise lies in building successful markets. YOUR expertise lies is operating them. It makes perfect sense for us to build the market and for you to run it. Instead of spending unnecessary time worrying about getting products from a warehouse to your markets, spend your time ensuring that your markets are being operated successfully. With Pick And Ship, we become a well-oiled machine!

Why YOU Need To Sell Fresh Food

It’s time to freshen up your market … literally!

People want  to buy fresh food. More specifically, Millennials want to buy fresh food. And as the largest generation in the US labor force, it’s time to get on board with making Millennials happy! According to the Private Label Manufacturers Association, fresh food is number one on their shopping lists. Take a look at these numbers:


Whether you expect them to be or not, Millennials are actually more loyal to their favorite stores than their parents! Impress them by stocking the fresh food they’re craving, and have them always coming back for more … or better yet, recommending your market to others!

But wait! Millennials aren’t the only people we want to impress, right? Of course not. Data actually shows that freshness is “the most important food characteristic to consumers across the board”! Impress them all by incorporating the six foods that are currently trending:


(Click for more details)

A recent Vending Market Watch article shows that “three in four consumers are willing to pay extra for snacks made with high quality ingredients” …

… and that “half2of consumers say healthier snacks would motivate them to buy more from specialty snack shops.”

Take advantage of this healthy trend – Fill their bellies with fresh food and they will fill your market with customers!

Get the latest, FRESHEST products on our webstore: