Connect with us

Headlines

Retail Theft and Other ‘Shrink’ Rises to Nearly $49B

mm

Published

on

Theft amounts to 1.44% of sales.

It’s probably cold comfort, but if your retail business has been the victim of theft, you’re certainly not alone.

Thefts and other inventory “shrink” from retailers grew to $48.9 billion in 2016 from $45.2 billion the year before, according to a new survey released by the National Retail Federation and the University of Florida.

The thefts amounted to 1.44 percent of sales, up from 1.38 percent.

According to the report, nearly 49 percent of retailers surveyed reported increases in inventory shrink, while just under 17 percent said it remained flat. Shrink was divided into shoplifting and organized retail crime (36.5 percent), employee theft/internal (30 percent), administrative paperwork error (21.3 percent) and vendor fraud or error (5.4 percent).

“The seriousness of retail theft is much greater than most customers realize,” said Richard Hollinger, a veteran University of Florida criminology professor and the lead author of the report. “When criminals steal from retailers, consumers pay higher prices, the safety of innocent employees can be compromised and shoppers looking for popular merchandise often cannot find it. Retailers need to continue to invest in new technologies to prevent and prosecute these crimes.”

The survey of 83 loss prevention executives from a variety of retail sectors was conducted March 29 to May 1. The study is a partnership between Hollinger of the University of Florida and NRF and is sponsored by The Retail Equation.

Advertisement

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular