Theft from stock rooms and shop floors is a persistent problem for retailers. With around €900 million lost annually to thieves in Belgium alone, upscale fashion boutique Patio sought an easy, low-cost deterrent. Code Handle locks fitted on key doors were the answer.

A location on Leuven’s most exclusive shopping street did not insulate Patio from retail theft. Shoplifting is a growing problem in many European countries, and thefts had also proliferated at Patio. Thieves were using the store’s toilet to remove clothing tags. Some even went upstairs to Patio’s offices and stole valuable items.

Access control system

Code Handle proved an ideal solution for us to protect non-public spaces from the public"

During a store renovation, manager Jeff Van den Bergh decided Patio’s offices and customer toilet needed proper security. Shoppers and visitors should not enjoy free, casual access to these sensitive rooms. However, he did not want staff wasting their time tracking physical keys when they could be helping customers. An expensive access control system was also ruled out. Door hardware had to look clean and contemporary, to meet the style-conscious standards of Patio’s interior. The store’s security contractor recommended Code Handle, which adds electronic PIN locking to doors without wires or an expensive access system.

“Code Handle proved an ideal solution for us to protect non-public spaces from the public,” says Jeff Van den Bergh, Patio’s Store Manager.

Door security

Door security is operated by a discreet PIN-pad built into a brushed-chrome handle. Two standard batteries slot inside each Code Handle to power the digital security. These typically last for 30,000 lock/unlock cycles. "The design fits well within the store,” adds Mr Van den Bergh.

Now, Patio customers still use the toilet — but not unsolicited. An employee unlocks the door for them without a key or pass. The door to Patio’s offices is closed to everyone, except staff who unlock it with a personal PIN. Code Handle comes with one Master PIN; the store manager issues up to 9 additional 4–6-digit PINs. When an employee leaves Patio, it’s simple to delete their PIN.