OPERATIONS

RILA study: Retail crimes continue to rise

BY Staff Writer

Arlington, Va. — A report released Thursday by the Retail Industry Leaders Association found significant increases in shoplifting and pharmacy theft, in particular. According to RILA’s 2011 Crime Trends and Leading Practices Survey, more than half of respondents reported an increase in the frequency with which organized rings committed shoplifting, and 41% saw an increase in shoplifting by individuals acting alone.

Sixty-four percent of respondents reported an increase in theft of pharmaceutical products.

According to the survey results, online marketplaces continue to be a favored venue for the resale of stolen product. A majority of retailers (61%) experienced an increase in the frequency with which stolen company merchandise was resold online; none reported a decrease in the online sale of stolen goods. Retailers also reported that their stolen merchandise was resold at flea markets and store front bodegas more frequently.

“We were disappointed, though not surprised, to see the continued rise in shoplifting by organized groups and individuals acting alone,” said Lisa LaBruno, VP of loss prevention and legal affairs for RILA. “As long as there are channels through which thieves can resell stolen goods, it will be difficult to stem the tide of organized retail crime. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to explore state and federal legislative solutions and to enhance partnerships with external stakeholders to find a solution to the growing problem of ORC.”

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OPERATIONS

Survey: Two out of three U.S. consumers surveyed want self-service options when shopping

BY Marianne Wilson

Duluth, Ga. — A majority of U.S. consumers believe that self-service technologies such as self-checkout and kiosks improve the store experience, with almost half of younger shoppers preferring to use self-checkout in stores, according to a new survey by The NPD Group for NCR Corp.

In the report two out of three U.S. consumers surveyed want self-service options when shopping, and nearly half of shoppers surveyed under 45 want stores to offer self-checkout. In other findings, almost 46% of consumers surveyed want stores to offer more self-service options, like self-checkout or kiosks, to improve the shopping experience.

“Survey results highlight how consumers are embracing self-service and their growing preference for self-service options when shopping,” said Scott Kingsfield, senior VP and general manager of NCR’s retail line of business. “By offering consumers the choice of self-checkout as part of their full-service portfolio, retailers can offer consumers a convenient and enhanced shopping experience.”

Additional NCR research data shows that U.S. grocers who implement self-checkout see self-service usage rates of approximately 35% of all transactions.

“The option of self-service, when delivered as part of a strategic customer engagement program, can help many retailers cater to today’s time-starved and on-the-go consumers,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for The NPD Group. “This survey demonstrates that self-checkout is a popular choice for these shoppers, who appreciate the speed and convenience of self-service.”

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