Adweek Feature: Retailers Grapple With Keeping Products Safe Without Inconveniencing Customers

 By Paul Hiebert, ADWEEK

VIRA Insight was featured in the recently released ADWEEK article that highlighted the dilemma of retailers as they contemplate locking up their merchandise. 

The Paul Hiebert piece first puts us in a situation most are familiar with, shopping for basic necessities that are readily available but just beyond reach, behind a locked case or other anti-theft device.  Then put yourself in the place of the retailers, struggling to keep shelves stocked due to retail theft and organized retail crime.

VIRA Insight is intimately aware of this struggle as we have partnered with many retailers in their loss prevention efforts. Our CEO, Jeff Jones, was able to provide insight on our experience in the space, noting that while locked up items contribute to a slight drop in sales, they do reduce theft.

"When we're creating these displays and locking product up behind glass, we are also thinking through how to best innovate in this space to protect and advance the consumer experience."  - Jeff Jones

To read this article, please click the link below.


Expanded Capabilities: Full Line Security Cases

Meeting Your Locking Case Needs

Retail crime affects retailers of all sizes, you need a provider with the solutions to fit your specific needs and the resources to deliver those solutions today.

Shoplifting isn’t new, but the rise of organized retail crime has exacerbated the problem and retailers need a loss prevention partner they can rely on.

To help retailers face the challenges of today, we recently expanded our loss prevention resources to dedicated to the manufacturing and distribution of our Fortress Full Line Security Cases. By dedicating more of our facilities and opening manufacturing lines – both domestic and overseas– we’re able to handle more volume and meet our retail partners’ demand.

We’ve Expanded Our Capabilities, including:
  • Increasing distribution capabilities with two new facilities to handle more volume
  • Adding project teams for onsite inspections to ensure the highest quality of products
  • Opening more manufacturing lines, both domestically and overseas, to meet demand

Even before the pandemic, retail theft was an enormous issue. According to the NRF, 22 of the largest retailers reported a loss of $61.7 billion due to theft, fraud and other retail shrinkage in 2019. And once retail theft occurs, recovering financial loss is difficult. It’s a huge problem that affects all retailers, not just the large, Big-Box stores, and we are committed to providing the solutions that stop retail criminals in their tracks

Now is the time - let us put our solutions to work for you. Click below to download our one-pager or Contact us at to discuss your perfect solution today!


Expanded Capabilities


Top 4 Trends Among Retail Shopping

How Retailers Can Provide The Best Possible Shopping Experience

Who would have guessed that in-store shopping would be thriving the way it is today? Over the last two years, most of us got comfortable shopping for items – the necessities and nice-to-haves – online. According to McKinsey & Company, ecommerce grew three times faster in 2020 yet less than two years later, people are stepping away from the computer and venturing out to the stores go shopping.

That said, if you’ve visited any of your favorite retailers over the last 12 months, you’ve probably noticed that in-store shopping looks different than it did a mere two years ago. “Retail is reinventing itself in part due to the pandemic, but also due to what customers want,” Ryan Van Sluyters, Key Account Manager at VIRA Insight said. “And while customers’ habits have changed, they still want a positive overall experience.” In response, retailers understand it's not business as usual and are implementing changes to keep their customers happy and engaged.

Van Sluyters and his team have seen the following trends emerge as retailers respond to what their customers want:

1. Frictionless Shopping

The concept of buying online and picking up in the store, often referred to as BOPIS, is a preferred way of shopping for many these days, particularly among the younger, more tech-savvy generations.

“Consumers don’t necessarily want to speak with anyone to complete a transaction if they don’t have to. Rather, they want a frictionless shopping experience where they get in, get their product and get out,” Van Sluyters said.

To help facilitate this, many retailers have implemented Dark Stores for order fulfillment in one of three ways: for curbside pickup with a reserved area in the parking lot for these orders; for in-store pickup with a dedicated area inside the store; and for home delivery. Dark Stores contribute to a frictionless shopping experience, as well as provide other benefits for retailers and consumers, including fast and efficient distribution of products, better inventory control management, enhanced SKU management and the ability to stock a wider range of products.

2. Stores Within a Store

Stores within a store are an emerging trend with big retailers today. They are attractive because they help the host store attract more foot-traffic, and they open the potential for new relationships between brands. One example is Lovesac, which piloted a pop-up store within Best Buy two years ago and has since steadily opened several throughout the country. It’s a relationship that makes sense; people need a comfortable place to sit while watching their new TV or surfing the web on their new laptop they purchased.

Target also understands the benefit of leveraging other brands to increase foot traffic and thus, partnered with and opened Ulta Beauty mini stores in many of its stores across the country, and now Sephora has begun rolling out mini stores in Kohl’s. According to Van Sluyters, cosmetics always bring increased foot traffic and partnerships like these will go a long way for the brands involved.


  1. Supply Chain and Staffing Issues

The double-whammy of the supply chain and staffing issues is wreaking havoc on inventory, fulfillment and the consumers’ experience. But many retailers are using technology to help streamline order tracking, manage customer loyalty programs and even communicate directly with customers. Technology is also being deployed on store shelves to help retailers track products in real time and to see how customers interact with products on the shelves.

But the issues don’t stop there. The labor shortage is also affecting things like fixture installation at the store level. As a result, vendors have looked at ways to develop and deliver easy-to-assemble modular systems so the end-user in the stores can easily put them together, saving time and manpower.


  1. Sustainability

While this isn’t a new issue, many retailers are now paying even more attention to their carbon footprint and implementing eco-friendly, sustainable practices within their stores. Of course, we’ve seen the trend of eliminating plastic bags and making the commitment to use more renewable energy, but now some retailers are going further and have begun programs that include recycling the plastic barriers that were installed during Covid when they need replacing, and the installation of fixtures made from sustainable and plant-based materials.

“Consumers care about a sustainable future and shop with this in mind. As such, they want to spend their dollars with companies that provide eco-friendly solutions,” Van Sluyters said.

As customers return to the stores, retailers need to be ready to provide the best possible experience for them. Are you ready?

Let us help ensure you are; contact us today to learn what we can do together!

At VIRA Insight, the Future is Sustainable

Designing a Sustainable Future

Your customers shop with sustainability in mind.

They seek out eco-friendly products and reuse and recycle plastics and paper whenever possible. They care about doing their part to build a sustainable future. And they want the companies they do business with to care, too.

We can help with that. At VIRA Insight, we design built environments sustainably, working with our customers to find solutions that work for their business and the environment.

Because we’re dedicated to reducing our own environmental footprint, we can help you deliver for your eco-conscious customers. We’ll collaborate with you to find solutions to all your infrastructure needs, ensuring that you meet your sustainability goals without sacrificing quality or affordability.

The More You Know

The more we know, the better we can do. At  At VIRA Insight, it all starts with gathering information. That’s why our sustainability efforts begin with detailed tracking of energy and utility costs.

We’re determined to contain and manage unnecessary energy usage. That’s why we implement energy-saving technology like motion-activated lights, which are installed across our entire facility. This and other common-sense measures help us save money and protect the environment.

Knowing exactly what we’re using and how we’re using it gives us the insight we need to meet our goal of reducing our overall carbon footprint by 2031.

Future Focused

Everything we do at VIRA Insight is focused on the future. We know that to thrive tomorrow, we need to conserve resources today. That’s why sustainability is central to the way we design, manufacture, and deliver for our customers.

Taking a long view requires a commitment to sustainability. It’s why we’re dedicated to reducing our environmental footprint and reusing and recycling materials whenever possible.

Goodbye to Stryofoam

When it comes to sustainability, we’re covering all our bases. That’s why we’re in the process of continually assessing and reassessing our packaging materials. Because it’s not just about what we design and make. It’s also about how we deliver it.

As we evaluate packaging materials, we’re making it a point to eliminate styrofoam wherever possible. Many recyclers don’t accept Styrofoam, but we’ve taken the time to find one that does, ensuring that none of the styrofoam we use in packaging ends up in a dumpster.

This is just one example of the many ways we’re focused on reducing waste at every step along the process, from design and fabrication to delivery and installation.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Why send something to the dumpster when you can reuse or recycle it?

At the heart of VIRA Insight’s Green Initiative is a robust recycling program. We constantly evaluate the way we use raw materials like wood, plastic, metal, and cardboard. By exploring new and innovative ways to reuse, recycle, and sell leftover materials, we’re getting closer to our goal of significantly reducing waste.



Customer Connection: Five Reasons Focusing on the In-Store Experience Is Key

Customer Connection: Five Reasons Focusing on the In-Store Experience Is Key

Optimizing Customers In-Store Shopping Experience Is More Important Than Ever

This holiday season, many customers are logging off their computers, getting out of the house, and enjoying the experience of shopping IRL. For many, in-person holiday shopping with friends and family is an annual tradition, something that can’t be replaced by an online experience.

When a customer walks into your store, you want them to feel welcomed and inspired by their surroundings. At VIRA Insight, we’re experts in executing the details that enhance the look, feel, and function of retail spaces. From customizable interactive displays to infrastructure that offers a stellar Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) experience, we’ve got you covered.

As you welcome customers back to in-store shopping this holiday season, here are a few things to consider:

Make Connections

Heading out to a favorite mall or store is often about more than just snagging that last-minute present or finding the perfect stocking stuffer. It’s about spending time with loved ones, feeling connected, and celebrating the season in a festive environment.

When a customer walks into your retail space or stops by to pick-up an online purchase, you can make a strong connection with them through the design of your space. The right shelving, signage and displays can transform a shopping experience, making it more accessible, enjoyable, and even entertaining.

Thanks to new interactive technologies, in-store displays can now be updated in real-time to create customizable shopping experiences. Adding digital displays with brand-specific or holiday messaging makes connecting with customers easier than ever.

Share Experiences

When a customer decides to purchase something in-person instead of online, it’s often because they’re craving the experience of shopping. After all, sometimes the process (browsing, perusing, comparing items) is as fun and satisfying as the result (purchasing something you want or need).

That’s why it is important to consider every aspect of a customer’s in-store experience. For instance, eye-catching digital displays and other customizable technologies can enhance how a customer moves through a retail space or interacts with products. In addition to making the shopping experience flow more seamlessly, customizable lighting, branding, and displays also enhance the look and feel of a space.

Stay On-Trend

The hottest trend in retail infrastructure right now is technology. With the simple addition of a monitor or interactive screen, the look and feel of your store can be instantly refreshed.

While traditional signage and displays must be installed and uninstalled with every new product, brand update, or season, a digital display offers permanent infrastructure that can be updated or switched out easily and often.

Pass On The Savings

If adding new technology to your retail space sounds expensive, get ready to be happily surprised. Our unique systems were designed to be flexible and affordable. That’s why we’ve invented new ways to update your existing infrastructure so that you can refresh your store’s look without breaking the bank.

By adding screens or monitors to preexisting shelving and gondolas, we can help you keep costs down while upping the wow factor. Your customers will feel more welcomed in a space that is digitally customized to meet their needs. And they’ll appreciate the savings you pass on to them through budget-savvy updates to your space.

VIRA Values: Building a Culture Connected by Care

VIRA Values: Building a Culture Connected by Care

In May 2021, VIRA leadership held a townhall meeting and introduced a new take on our organizational values.

These tenets not only define how we show up—for each other, for our customers, for our vendors and partners, and in the community at large—they also drive our business decisions, our operations, and our culture. They give focus to our vision and provide direction for our mission.


With our organization, our partners, and our clients aligned around our shared ideals, VIRA is poised to reshape the way brands and consumers engage. Working together, sharing our knowledge and insight, we can build real, meaningful connections that succeed.
We’re proud to share our values with you, and we look forward to bringing them to life in our work and relationships.


First, we are VIBRANT. We believe a healthy mindset fosters healthy interactions and a healthy work environment—and that all leads to a thriving, sustainable, profitable business. Healthy self, healthy workplace, healthy business. It’s all connected, and it starts within each of us.


We are INTENTIONAL. We think, speak, and act with purpose. When it comes to projects, we envision the results we want, anticipate challenges, make a plan, and move forward. Everyone at VIRA is empowered to make decisions. At the same time, we recognize that our choices have consequences. So, we consider their impact and choose thoughtfully.


We are RESPECTFUL. We recognize that everyone is on their own journey. So, we meet people wherever they are, and we treat them as we want to be treated.


Finally, we are AGILE. We’re always looking for a new way, a different way, or a better way to bring a client’s vision to life. We take time to understand a problem, gather information, explore possibilities, and test our ideas. We embrace the unknown, pivot quickly, and never settle.


These values are the starting point for everything we do—from partnering with clients to recruiting and recognition. When you engage with VIRA, you can expect us to live out these values every day, on every project, and with every interaction.

Into The Dark

Into The Dark

Dark stores offer a flexible and promising future for retail.

If there’s a takeaway from current logistics and shipping conditions, it’s that fully relying on the supply chain for online orders can often leave customers disappointed. This is where the “dark store” comes into play.

Embraced by Walmart, Albertson’s, Kroger, Stop & Shop, and Whole Foods, dark stores—or micro-fulfillment centers—may resemble typical grocery stores but are designed to fulfill customers’ orders without in-person engagement. And these warehouse-like spaces with their longer aisles, lack of checkout stations, and curbside pick-up areas are predicted to grow exponentially in the coming years.’s first all-dark whole foods shop in Brooklyn, New York, has been so successful, there was a waiting list for new customer fulfillment upon its opening in the fall of 2020.

The company followed up with other dark outlets in cities such as Baltimore and San Francisco, and other retailers quickly followed suit.Even as some dark stores have returned to normal operations, the model’s advantages remain intriguing for retailers. Because micro-fulfillment centers are often smaller, they can be placed closer to customers’ homes than a larger warehouse. Analysts have also determined that the cost of delivering groceries from micro-fulfillment dark stores is two times lower than from a more centralized warehouse.

With no food bars, no checkout lines, and no in-store dining, dark stores also offer more space for products.

Retailers can tailor items in a dark store by what sells best in a specific region, allowing for adequate fulfillment by local demand. Data-driven forecasts can help optimize floorplans for easy picking, and an integrated workforce optimization system can help schedule staff when they are needed most.

At Vira Insight, we have developed many fixtures and solutions that dark stores of all types can implement for better efficiency. From our metal racks and gondola shelving to the back of house office furnishings that are the un-thanked but necessary fixtures that operate businesses, we know what your dark store needs.

By taking into close consideration what product is going where, our solutions help you meet the standards you set for your company. Built around the dimensions of a single commonly used product, our bread racks, for example, enclose bakery goods on all sides except the top. That way, fragile loaves are easy to access while being kept from damage. So, whether you prioritize on time delivery, quality, or freshness, we got you covered.

Meeting the demands of today’s consumer means perfecting the infrastructure and process of shopping on all fronts. A customer picking up orders from a dark store can announce their arrival via a tracking app, allowing workers to plan fulfillment in real-time. But perhaps the most significant technological advance for dark stores is the integration of robotics. The use of robot picking provides for a fast, accurate, and affordable selection of goods in a smaller footprint while adhering to the social distancing rules of the pandemic.

As more stores join the dark revolution, groceries may explore a hybrid model, where a mix of dark and non-dark retail gives an omnichannel approach to rapid product fulfillment. As online and offline shopping meld, consumers will have more flexibility in their shopping experience than ever before, leading to greater profitability for the dark stores of the future.

Is your company exploring the bright future that dark stores may have for your retail locations? Contact us today to explore what solutions may be right for you.

How to make work, work!

How to make work, work!

The post-pandemic evolution of the office has something for everyone.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the modern office was renowned for open, collaborative workspaces and fun-filled perks, including coffee bars, snack areas, and pool tables. But the post-Covid landscape offers a very different view of what defines a successful workplace.

As workers balance remote schedules with a return to headquarters, no longer is a ping-pong table an essential ingredient to engage employees. Instead, the new thoughtful and purposeful office offers a little more function along with the fun. Flexible, modern offices may value privacy more than ever before while still allowing workers to work the way that they feel the most comfortable.

Renowned for designing and manufacturing solutions for any built environment, vira insights was poised to pivot as we designed the offices of the future.

Accelerating our emphasis on supplying retailers and offices with custom-built solutions, we began at the source—our own office in Lewisville.

The newly designed 350,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing center VIRA unveiled in May of 2021 has already proved to be a successful template we can look towards as we deliver interior environments that can adapt to changing worker needs. The elbow-to-elbow seating of the past may be reconfigured to house fewer people in the same space, but it turns out this one-size-does-not-fit-all approach is better for workers and employers than previously imagined.

Says company CEO Jeff Jones in an interview from Dallas Innovates:

“We believe a space that is custom-designed for a business, its employees and its customers lead to performance. Our own office is proof: After returning our employees to a redesigned, safe environment, we have seen more productivity, more sales closings, more deadlines hit on time, and greater satisfaction among our customers. Your space truly makes a difference in how your business performs.”

Companies are leaning into adaptable configurations that can be combined and shifted in an array of combinations. Colleagues can then gather for meetings or give each other personal space for more intense collaboration. Walls can be moved, and see-through sneeze guards or laminated gallery panels will provide a barrier against germs and noise while still allowing employees to see and hear one another. Outdoor gathering spaces are another trend we’ll see more of in the coming years.

The use of a rotating schedule among workers allows greater distance between desks, and “hot desks”—a workspace that lacks a permanent occupant—can serve as a multi-use area between stints of at-home work. Allowing more than one worker to use a desk (while sanitizing in-between visits) also helps optimize space while accommodating a workforce that prefers to split their time between home and office.

Now-empty offices can be transformed into conference rooms, private meeting rooms, or space for guest speakers or special presentations. For businesses who have downsized, renting out unused square footage to freelancers or independent remote workers is a solution that allows maximum monetization. But it is perhaps the return of privacy that is the most significant—and positive—change in modern office design.

Debuting this year, vira’s sleek “silos” give workers an enclosed mini office complete with chic, modern seating and a built-in desk.

With the ability to install a standalone unit or utilize multiple “Silos” in a row, this customizable solution will help give employees a private enclave to ideate and create.

Through fulfilling the evolving needs of future workers, VIRA is uniquely poised to redesign spaces in the smartest and safest ways. With a newly launched materials sourcing and design services division dedicated to redesigning office spaces, our future—and the future of the built environments we create—looks bright. Untapped opportunities can become clever solutions for working in a post-pandemic world.

Celebrating 25 Years of Innovation

Celebrating 25 Years of Innovation

On May 20th, we launched a new brand and celebrated our 25th Anniversary. We are very excited to share the new VIRA Insight brand with you!

Our brand is a clear and consistent expression of our responsive business model and the culmination of our different areas of expertise. It is a visual representation of our dedication to delivering custom solutions for any built environment, meeting our customers where they are and delivering exceptional high-touch and innovative service.

Retail Theft Is Rising: Here’s What You Need To Know Now About Loss Prevention

Retail Theft Is Rising: Here’s What You Need To Know Now About Loss Prevention

If your business experienced a significant uptick in retail theft during the pandemic, you’re not alone.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 75 percent of companies reported an increase in Organized Retail Crime (ORC) in the past year.

While the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the problem, research shows that an increase in ORC will continue for the foreseeable future. Reacting to this problem after retail theft has occurred is costly, time-consuming, and ineffective. That’s why prevention is key.

To get ahead of this problem, it’s important to understand why ORC is increasing, what it looks like today, and which loss prevention techniques are most effective. At VIRA Insight, we have over two decades of experience outfitting retail spaces with sleek, effective, customizable loss prevention solutions.

Our loss prevention systems are effective because they are informed by research and experience. Today, we want to share what we’ve learned about retail theft with you so that you can make smart decisions to protect your business. Here’s what you should know now about loss prevention:


According to the NRF, retailers lose an average of $719,548 for every $1 billion in sales to ORC. Even before the pandemic made this problem worse, 22 of the largest retailers reported losing $61.7 billion due to theft, fraud, and other retail shrinkage in just one year (2019).

Once retail theft occurs, recovering financial loss is extremely difficult. In fact, only 2.9 percent of all retail theft losses are recovered by retailers, resulting in massive shrinkage. This is why, when it comes to saving your business money, retail theft prevention is key.


During the COVID-19 pandemic the nature of retail theft changed as it increased. Widespread financial hardship led to an increase in necessity-driven theft. As shoppers became more motivated by need, theft transitioned from targeting expensive items like electronics to shoplifting essential items like food, products for infants, and household commodities. Unsurprisingly, essential retailers were hit particularly hard, with shoplifting in that sector increasing by 8.6 percent.

Last year it was necessary for retailers to adapt their businesses to comply with COVID-19 protocols. But in many cases, the same protocols that were designed to keep customers safe also enabled thieves. The prevalence of masks allowed for more anonymity from security camera footage and staff. Additionally, pandemic protocols occupied staff attention, making them less likely to focus on theft prevention.


During the pandemic, many retailers shifted to or increased the use of self-checkout stations. Having invested in that technology and infrastructure, those retailers are expected to continue to rely on contact-free checkout post-pandemic.

While self-checkout has many advantages, it also results in greater levels of loss. According to a 2018 Efficient Consumer Response survey, retailers with self-checkout report losses from 33 percent to 147 percent higher than stores with fixed self-checkout.

Even as mask use becomes less ubiquitous and the economy and job market recover, higher levels of retail theft are expected to remain. Potential continued boldness from shoplifters may continue even as they shift back to targeting more expensive products like designer items, high-end beauty products, and electronics.


Investing in preemptive measures to prevent retail theft up front is key. At VIRA Insight, we offer a variety of flexible, customizable solutions designed to maximize protection against ORC. From anti-sweep hooks and lockboxes to full security cases, our Fortress series systems can be tailored to suit your business’ specific needs, helping you stop retail thefts and related financial losses before they happen.