5 Loss Prevention Stats Retailers Should Know
One of the biggest challenges today in the retail industry is loss prevention. For retailers, shrinkage is a major cost of doing business. The retail industry loses billions each year dishonest customers, careless employees, and other employees with sticky fingers.
As the statistics below will reveal, retail theft is a problem that is not going away. In fact, in many ways, retailers with lax loss prevention programs are getting exploited by shoplifters more than ever. But, don’t take our word for it. The numbers speak for themselves.
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That’s right – nearly half of all retail theft is done by employees. And not only that; US employees have the stickiest fingers, according to Fortune.com. What’s tricky about employee theft is that workers have an easier means than shoppers to get off the premise without raising any alarms. While a shopper must past shoplifting alarm detectors, employees can easily steal from the stockroom.
And, once off the premise, it is gone, and finding out how the inventory was stolen is even harder to uncover. This is why many retailers are looking seriously at improving inventory tracking capabilities. With technology like RFID hardware and softwre, retailers can track where inventory has gone. They can track when it was taken, who took it, and where it may have gone. With inventory visibility like that, it’s no wonder major retailers like Target and Kohls are investing heavily in RFID technology.
The truth is, shoplifters are hard to stop. Even if a retailer is as vigilant as they can be, shoplifters will still be able to find ways to steal. Only a handful of thieves need to succeed for their actions to cause negative fiscal and operational reverberations for an operation. And, there is certainly no shortage of shoplifters these days. According to the NASP, more than 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the last five years.
Regular loss prevention measures are no longer enough to fight theft. Standard retail store alarms and hidden cameras aren’t enough to fight off theft. Cutting edge technology that is by nature a step ahead of shoplifters is what retailers are finding today. Electronic article surveillance is at the forefront of many successful retail loss prevention strategies. These strategies would allow retailers to stop both casual shoplifters as well as professional thieves who come armed with wire cutters. But, ultimately, retailers should use loss prevention technology that works cohesively with their retail operation.