Survey Points to Growing Problem of Shrink
Fruitland Park, FL, One in every 27.8 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer, according to the 17th Annual Retail Theft Survey, conducted by Jack Hayes International. As bad as that sounds, the truth is worse. “That number is just the ones who are caught,” said Mark Doyle, president of the loss-prevention consulting firm. “I know companies don’t catch half of their dishonest employees.”
According to the survey of 27 U.S. retail companies, the number of shoplifters apprehended and the dollars recovered from those apprehensions increased for the fourth straight year. Apprehension of dishonest employees and the dollars recovered from them increased in 2004, reversing a three-year trend. Dollar recoveries exceeded $112 million, up 3.26% over 2003. Only 2.74% of total retail theft losses resulted in a recovery, according to the consulting firm. “The losses are staggering and continue to amaze us, especially the shoplifting statistics over the past several years,” said Doyle.
The 27 companies in the survey represent 12,908 stores with combined 2004 sales of about $441 billion.
Tesco Heats Up Supermarket Lines
New York City, Tesco has reportedly introduced a new heat sensor technology in several of its stores. In an effort to increase customer satisfaction by decreasing checkout lines, the British retail giant installed heat sensors above checkout lanes. The sensors detect the number of people in line and then display the information in a panel above the lane, allowing shoppers to determine the shortest lines.
Tesco says that the technology has successfully reduced checkout wait times.
N.J. Gas Stations Charged After Violations
Newark, N.J., New Jersey became the first state to take legal action in response to steeply inflated gas prices when state attorney general Peter C. Harvey alleged in court that 20 N.J. gas stations and their oil suppliers violated a state law that forbids multiple price increases in a single day.
Harvey charged that several stations hiked their prices as many as four or five times in one day as Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the oil industry. According to the report, some stations even charged credit-card users more than the receipt amounts; others secretly substituted regular gas for premium.
Many of the accused station owners said that they were unaware of the law against price increases, while others defended their actions as necessary in the face of rising wholesale prices.
New Jersey remains the only state with a law against multiple daily increases in gas prices. The New York Times reports that the law was put in place in 1938 to protect small operators from larger companies during price wars.