BJ's Wholesale Club introduced the warehouse club concept to New England in 1984 and has since expanded to become a leading warehouse club operator in the eastern United States. It is now one of the top three leading warehouse chains in the United States. Headquartered in Natick, Mass., the company operates more than 180 locations in 15 states, 102 gas stations and three main distribution centres, and sells everything from general merchandise to fresh meat and perishables across its retail enterprise.
BJ's needed a solution that could help it identify theft, fraud, intrusion and trespassing throughout its various stores, gas stations and distribution facilities. The system also needed to be scalable in case camera deployments were expanded and be able to store video for a specific time designated by BJ's, and not by standard system capabilities. The retail giant was also interested in moving to an IP solution to leverage the company's network infrastructure. "The key features that made Omnicast an ideal solution for BJ's was the system's scalability from an enterprise standpoint, its user friendliness and its ability to tie together multiple systems,"
said Patrick O'Leary, Director of Sales, Eastern Region.
Currently, BJ's has deployed Omnicast at 75 locations and plans to have another 60 locations online over the next year for a total of 135 locations at the project's completion. "The advanced IP video surveillance system was initially installed in BJ's new stores,"
said O'Leary. "However, we are now focusing our efforts on replacing the obsolete DVRs, and installing encoders to leverage the analogue cameras in existing stores."
The Omnicast platform manages feeds from various cameras depending on the store's location and size (the number of cameras is also determined by its assigned risk status). For example, BJ's flagship store in the Bronx has 125 surveillance cameras while one of the company's low-volume stores has 60 cameras.
Since Omnicast is compatible with a long list of major IP camera brands, BJ's chose their preferred brand. They deployed a mix of Axis Communications'
high-resolution PTZ and fixed IP cameras because of their reliable image quality and ease of installation. BJ's also leveraged its existing analogue cameras, which are being converted to digital streams with Axis encoders. All of BJ's cameras networked to Omnicast are monitored locally within the stores and are available for remote viewing from BJ's corporate office, providing enhanced visibility into each store from a remote location.
With the benefits and scalability of Omnicast running in its stores, BJ's has taken a giant leap forward in building a video surveillance system that can help the company best manage shrinkage, increase safety and reduce losses, and make operations more efficient. In fact, Omnicast has been so well received at BJ's that they are now undertaking plans to expand the Omnicast system into their corporate headquarters, along with Genetec's
access control system, Synergis
, to leverage the benefits of a full enterprise solution.