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Survey: Shrink averages 1.5% of U.S. sales

BY Marianne Wilson

Thorofare, N.J. — 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. In the United States, shrink came in at 1.5% of retail sales.

The study, underwritten by an independent grant from Checkpoint Systems, was undertaken in 2013 by Euromonitor International, and was based upon in-depth phone and written survey interviews conducted in 16 countries among retailers covering 160,000 stores representing $1.5 trillion in sales in 2012.

According to the study, shrink is on the rise in most countries with increases noted in shoplifting, employee theft and organized retail crime. The lowest shrink rates were recorded in Japan (1% of retail sales), followed by Hong Kong, Australia and Germany (1.1%). The highest rates were recorded in Brazil and Mexico (1.6%). The cost of shrink to U.S. shoppers averaged $300 per household.

Among the most stolen merchandise reported by the retailers were fashion accessories, jeans, footwear and lingerie/intimate apparel, high-value electronics, consumer health such as allergy treatments, milk formula, electronic games and satellite navigation/GPS, mobile device accessories such as cases and earphones.

According to Euromonitor International: “Shrink is a multi-dimensional threat for retailers across the globe, with shoplifting and employee theft, including organized crime, on the rise. Growing shrink concerns have put loss prevention high on the agenda of retailers; companies are keen to invest in effective and proven loss prevention methods, collaborating with technology companies and specialists for loss management solutions to diminish these shrink problems.”

Retail respondents with particularly strong investments in loss prevention told researchers they believe that they manage shrinkage well, and typically reported shrink rates well below the respective country average, with investments clearly paying off. In fact, U.K. and German retailers stated that improving loss prevention methods helped them to keep shrink under control. Overall, retailers interviewed estimated their future loss prevention investments would increase or stay stable.

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Former Microsoft exec to develop gaming sector at Virtual Piggy

BY CSA STAFF

Virtual Piggy has appointed Sébastien Motte to lead business development in the gaming sector.

Motte has more than 19 years of experience in product management and business development in the game division at Microsoft. For the last 13 years, he led the business development team responsible for all Xbox first-party games partnerships. In this role he also handled the merger and acquisitions for Microsoft Studios. He will lead Virtual Piggy’s business development initiatives in the gaming space at a key time as the digital goods industry experiences a more than30% annual growth rate.

“Virtual Piggy’s innovative solution will have a disruptive and sustained impact on gaming payments especially with Millenials and Generation Z,” said Motte. “I am very excited to join this team and help grow the company’s business and partnerships in gaming and interactive entertainment markets.”

“Virtual Piggy delivers a low friction payment solution for the global gaming industry while enhancing strong conversion and repeat business,” said Dr. Jo Webber, Virtual Piggy CEO and founder. “As we continue to grow in the gaming and interactive entertainment industry, we are very happy to bring on Motte to help further develop the business.”

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ShopperTrak: Dec. 4 will see least amount of holiday traffic

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — ShopperTrak predicts that Wednesday, Dec. 4, will be the best day for consumers to shop this holiday season with the least amount of store shopper traffic.

Three other days that same week – Dec. 2 (Monday), Dec. 3 (Tuesday) and Dec. 6 (Friday) – also garnered top spots as some of the best days to shop this year. These weekdays immediately follow Black Friday weekend, which ShopperTrak anticipates will be among the busiest days for retail shopper traffic and sales. Given their proximity to Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a good selection of merchandise likely will remain in the stores for retailers working to capture those sales.

Historically, the majority of shoppers flock to malls on the weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to ShopperTrak. With four weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year – compared to five weekends in 2012 – consumers will have fewer weekend days to complete their holiday shopping. The weekdays will see stores with fewer crowds and more attentive sales staff offering shoppers an opportunity to complete some of their holiday shopping without competing with the crowds.

Despite lower store shopper traffic, weekdays provide an opportunity for retailers to promote and move merchandise that remains after weekends.

"Consumers are often more alert to sales and promotions than if they shopped on chaotic weekend days," said ShopperTrak founder and executive VP Bill Martin. "Retailers can use traffic benchmarking reports and real-time analytics to better prepare their store and staff to seize selling opportunities on these slower-traffic days and turn browsers into buyers."

The following table shows ShopperTrak’s forecasted best days to shop, ranked from least-to-most retail shopper traffic:

Rank Date Day of the Week
1 Dec. 4 Wednesday
2 Dec. 3 Tuesday
3 Dec. 2 Monday
4 Dec. 11 Wednesday
5 Dec. 9 Monday
6 Dec. 10 Tuesday
7 Dec. 6 Friday
8 Dec. 13 Friday
9 Dec. 12 Thursday
10 Dec. 16 Monday

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