Global Theft Costs Retailers, Consumers $104B Annually
Thorofare, N.J. The level of global retail theft reached $104.5 billion in the past year, leading to increased costs for both retailers and consumers alike, according to the second annual Global Retail Theft Barometer, a survey conducted by the Centre for Retail Research.
While global retail shrink as a percentage of total sales has declined slightly in the past 12 months, the overall cost of retail crime has increased substantially, the survey found.
The $104.5 billion lost by global retail shrinkage over the past year is equivalent to 1.34% of retail sales. In North America, shrink totaled $42.338 billion, or 1.48% of sales, with the U.S. accounting for the majority of that figure.
While the global figure represents a marginal decline in shrinkage of $1.56 billion (-1.5%) compared to 2007, due in part to the increase in survey respondents and a slight decline in shrink, the overall cost of crime to retailers has increased by $4.7 billion since last year.
The cost of retail crime, calculated on the basis of crimes by customers, employees and suppliers/vendors (excluding internal error), plus the costs of loss prevention, were $112.78 billion in 2008, compared to $108.1 billion last year.
The survey noted that employee theft is the largest source of shrinkage for retailers in North America and Latin America (46.3% and 42.0% respectively), while customer theft is the leader in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe (53.8% and 46.8% respectively).
Globally, customer theft, including shoplifting and organized retail crime, remained the largest source of shrinkage loss in most individual countries, totaling more than $43 billion (41.2% of total shrinkage).
Employee theft accounted for 36.5% of shrinkage ($38.15 billion), while supplier/vendor theft and supply chain fraud represent 5.8% of shrinkage ($6.09 billion). Internal errors and administrative failures (such as pricing, process or accounting mistakes) accounted for 16.5% of losses ($17.22 billion).
Wal-Mart partners with Army Reserve
BENTONVILLE, Ark. The U.S. Army Reserve and Wal-Mart have signed an agreement that allows both organizations to recruit, train and employ individuals interested in both serving the nation and pursuing a career in the retail industry.
The initiative provides Army Reserve Soldiers opportunities for employment with Wal-Mart after they successfully complete military occupational specialty training (MOS). The Army Reserve and Wal-Mart will work together to recruit, license and offer training reciprocity to qualified Soldier candidates. The agreement commits Wal-Mart to interviewing and considering all qualified, participating Soldiers for employment upon completion of MOS training.
“We are excited and honored to have U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers join our team,” said Lee Scott, president and ceo of Wal-Mart. “Our company has a longstanding commitment to providing employment opportunities in the community. We have also long recognized those who serve in the military, and it is a privilege to assist the troops and their Families with this new initiative.”