Survey: Supermarket Shrink Down, Organized Crime Up

Arlington, Va., Shrink in supermarkets declined for the third straight year to a median of 1.52% of sales in 2006, as food retailers devoted more technology, training and employee vigilance to combat theft and other losses, according to the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Supermarket Security and Loss Prevention 2007 report. The 2006 shrink figure is down from 1.69% of sales in 2005 and 2% in 2004.

At the same time, supermarkets continue to report increases in organized retail crime. Nearly six in 10 of the food retailers surveyed (59.6%) reported an increase in these crimes in 2006. The FBI estimates that these gangs steal up to $30 billion in products a year from all retailers.

Food retailers are taking action to thwart organized retail crime, according to the report. In fact, 93.6% of the loss-prevention executives surveyed are allocating more resources to deter and detect it and to help law enforcement capture and prosecute the perpetrators. The measures include providing more loss-prevention training, tracking crimes regionally, installing more closed-circuit surveillance systems and helping develop legislation to address the problem.

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