JD Sports is using a new electronic article surveillance (EAS) system in its flagship UK stores, while trials of the new security technology are also set to launch in the sports equipment retailer's French shops.

The Agon Concept Tag from Agon Systems are set to be used in JD's London Oxford Street store, as well as its Newcastle and Glasgow flagships. The retailer's Manchester Trafford Centre and Birmingham Bullring shops will also use the system, which has been commended by reformed criminals as a secure way of displaying clothing.

Agon says the tags have an "impenetrable design", arguing that thieves cannot remove the tags without ruining the clothing item to which they are attached.

Tim Edwards, group loss control director at JD Sports, suggested that a previous EAS system did not function in the way the company would have liked, adding: "The Agon Concept Tag actually works!"

"In initial trials we found that use of the tag displaced crime to a JD store that did not have it," he explained.

"So we are able to see how very effective the Agon Concept Tag is at deterring shoplifters, which is why we are using it in our high profile stores."

Sean Welch, managing director at Agon Systems, said that there is still work to do in educating the loss prevention market about new-style EAS.

"I do still get frustrated when people say that they don't want the tag because it does not fit their current detachers," he noted.

"After all that is the whole point. However, as crime migrates from stores using the Agon Tag to stores using old EAS I think people will finally get the point."

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