Sold, not stolen: Perfume protection with Noccela

DUFRY has duty-free shops all over the world with luxury products and brands. Some products like perfumes are more prone to be stolen than others. Noccela has developed a security system that fits these merchandise and fights against the corresponding theft behaviors.

Merchandise such as perfumes are too small or luxurious to attach a security tag. So how to prevent thefts when the merchandise has no security protections and the activity lasts less than 5 seconds taking as many items as a shelf-sweep gesture can grab? Noccela has developed protection to fill this gap in the retail security market.

As the inventor of the world’s most advanced retail security system (UWB RTLS-based EAS), Noccela went ahead with developing an invisible security system that does not require restraining or locking down the products and interrupting the luxurious customer experience.

Protected shelves that trigger alarms for predicted theft behaviors


Noccela started the Poof of Concept (PoC) project in the spring of 2022 together with Swiss-based travel retailer DUFRY. The company operates duty-free and duty-paid shops and convenience stores one of which operates in Helsinki Vantaa airport. The Duty-Free shops are facing theft issues, particularly in the perfumes section and it has caused great losses regularly. The nature of thefts is identified as ‘in bulk’ and demands a theft prevention solution by implementing a smart alarming system. As the customer experience is one of the top values for the organization, the alarming system is expected to be discreet, without any kind of restraints.
The project initially required detecting bulk or mass theft behaviors: ‘shelf-sweep’ and ‘fast-picking’. The activities had a couple of common constraints such as a significant pressure change on the shelf within a matter of few seconds. Accordingly, the controller unit of the shelf requires calibration of the sensors.

Shelf-sweep theft behavior
Fast-picking theft behavior

The PoC project was implemented on 2 shelf units from 2 luxury brands: Dior, and Chanel. It started by visiting the site to collect the specifications required to custom-make the sensitive boards. While the sensor unit order to the supplier was in progress, Noccela team developed the proximity authentication with UWB radio technology and the integration of the sensor and the UWB technologies. The installation took place at the end of summer 2022, running until the end of 2022.

During the 5-month period of the project, the Dior shelf unit and Chanel shelf unit gave out thousands of alarms, out of which the following analysis was performed for the period that the security guards were involved. With Dior possible prevented theft was 22,48% and in the case of Channel 35,98%.

Project statistics of generated alarms (possible thefts reacted and non-reacted by the security guards)

At DUFRY, a welcoming customer experience is important to us, so it wouldn’t be fair to compromise it with restraining security measures. Noccela perfume protection helps us achieve both advance surveillance and a pleasant ambiance for our sales operations.

Karri Hellström, Nordic Logistics Operations Manager at DUFRY


The solution involves two detection technologies working together effectively and seamlessly. The first technology involves piezoelectric sensors which make the perfume shelves sensitive to pressure differences that occur on the surfaces.

Hardware that constitutes the perfume protection solution: The sensitive boards, controller unit, and UWB radio network hardware.

On the sensitive shelves, pressure differences occur when the merchandise is moved by touching, picking, or putting back. The sensors are calibrated by a controller unit according to the required levels of pressure differences demanded by the physical conditions of the perfumes to protect as well as the client’s preference of movement to detect. When the calibrated movement is detected on the shelf, the controller unit releases a discreet alarm. The security guard(s) of the store receives a notification to their smartphone in real-time.

Discreet alarming via the Noccela Guard app

The second technology is Ultra-wide Band (UWB) radio which creates an invisible authentication bubble around each shelf that is protected. When authorized personnel enters the bubble, the alarm system in the controller unit is disarmed automatically in real-time. This keeps the system from releasing false alarms created by employee activities on the shelves. The radio technology also facilitates a hyper-fast two-way communication channel with a cloud service that can be further extended to provide remote support service of the solution.

The shelf unit’s alarm is armed when the sales staff is away

The shelf unit’s alarm automatically disarmed by the sales staff’s proximity


DUFRY is a Swiss-based travel retailer which operates duty-free and duty-paid shops and convenience stores in airports, cruise lines, seaports, railway stations, and central tourist areas. The company, headquartered in Basel, employs almost 36,000 people and operates in over 65 countries worldwide.

An innovative system based on invisible sensors that do not require power, which can be applied anywhere and thanks to the aid of dedicated software that allows monitoring and memorizing all the signals in real-time and communication with the alarm system, thus guaranteeing the best intrusion prevention and safety solution.

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