More than1.2 million shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2014 by just 25 large retailers who recovered over $225 million from these thieves, according to the 27th Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm Jack L. Hayes International.
Shrinkage levels average 1.27% of sales, which translates to a $57 billion loss to the industry, according to the U.S. Retail Fraud Survey, which is based on research into the systems and strategies used by 100 leading North American retailers.
The ECR Shrinkage Group, an expert group focused on shrink, with the support of merchandise availability solutions supplier for the retail industry Checkpoint Systems, is launching an online benchmarking tool, which enables retailers to understand how well they are managing shrink compared to others and the relative strengths and opportunities of their loss-prevention program.
Shrink, comprised of shoplifting, employee or supplier fraud, organized retail crime and administrative errors, cost the retail industry more than $112 billion globally last year, and represented 1.4% of retail sales, on average, according to the 2012-2013 Global Retail Theft Barometer.
Total losses attributed to retail shrinkage hit $34.5 billion last year, “positioning retail crime as the largest form of property crime,” according to Dr. Richard Hollinger, professor of criminology, law and society, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla. And it shows no signs of easing anytime soon. Indeed, the rate of shrink remains on a five-year climb, according to the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC), Gainesville, Fla.
Philadelphia -- A report released Tuesday by Checkpoint Systems and the Centre for Retail Research found that global shrink has reached its highest level since it began measuring the data in 2007.
According to the Global Retail Theft Barometer, shrink is up 6.6% globally and up 6% in the United States over last year. Costs globally are $119 billion and the overall shrink rate is 1.45% of sales. Driving the increases are rises in shoplifting, employee fraud and organized retail crime rates.