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Survey finds that one out of every 35 employees…

BY Marianne Wilson

Theft continues to plague the retail industry, by both shoplifters and retail employees.

One out of every 35 employees was apprehended for theft from their employers in 2017 according to the 30th Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm Jack L. Hayes International. Twenty-one large retail companies, accounting for 16,409 stores and over $428 billion in retail sales in 2017, participated in the survey.

Over 432,000 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2017 by survey participants, who recovered over $188 million from these thieves. Shoplifting apprehensions increased 2.3%, with the dollars recovered from these shoplifters increasing almost 13%, the survey found. The average shoplifting case value in 2017 was $381.25, up from $345.35 in 2016.

“This is the eighth rise in both shoplifter apprehensions and dollar recoveries in the past 10 years,” said Mark R. Doyle, president of Jack L. Hayes International. “Recoveries from shoplifters where no apprehension was made increased for the 21st consecutive year, up an amazing 18% in 2017.

Dishonest employee apprehensions and recovery dollars were down (almost 4% and 7% respectively). Dollars recovered from dishonest employee apprehensions totaled over $38 million in 2017, down 7.0% from 2016. The average case value related to dishonest employees was $966.61 in 2017, compared to an average case value for shoplifters of $381.25

Here are the highlights of the survey:
Shrink: 61.9% of survey participants reported an increase in shrink in 2017, with 28.6% reporting a decrease in shrink, and another 9.5% reported shrink stayed about the same.

Apprehensions: 432,046 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2017, up 1.7% from 2016.

Recovery Dollars: Over $188 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2017, up 8.1% from 2016.

Shoplifter Apprehensions: 391,760 shoplifters were apprehended in 2017, up 2.3% from 2016.

Shoplifter Recovery Dollars: Over $149 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters in 2017, up 12.9% from 2016. An additional $185 million was recovered from shoplifters where no apprehension was made, up a significant 18.1% from 2016.

Employee Apprehensions: 40,286 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2017, down 4.0% from 2016.

Employee Recovery Dollars: Over $38 million was recovered from employee apprehensions in 2017, down 7.0% from 2016.

 

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Starbucks previews its racial-bias training

BY Marianne Wilson

Starbucks’ employees will listen to messages from famous actor/hip-hop artist Common, along with corporate executives when the chain closes more than 8,000 U.S. stores on the afternoon of May 29 for racial bias training.

The coffee giant shared a video preview of the May 29 curriculum, which it said “serves as a step in a long-term journey to make Starbucks even more welcoming and safe for all.” (Click here for video.)

“Our hope is that these learning sessions and discussions will make a difference within and beyond our stores,” said Starbucks executive VP, U.S. retail, Rossann Williams, in a note to all U.S. associates. “After May 29, we will make the curriculum available to the public and share it with the regions as well as our licensed and business partners.”

The training is part of Starbucks’ response to the arrest of two African-American men in April at one of its stores in Philadelphia. The men, who were waiting for a third to arrive for a meeting, asked to use the restroom and were told by an employee it was only for paying customers. When they then sat in the store without ordering anything, the manager called police, and the men were arrested but the charges were later dropped.

Williams noted that “May 29 isn’t a solution, it’s a first step.”

“By educating ourselves on understanding bias and how it affects our lives and the lives of the people we encounter and serve, we renew our commitment to making the third place welcoming and safe for everyone,” she said.

The day’s curriculum will set the foundation for a longer-term Starbucks’ anti-bias, diversity, equity and inclusion effort, the company said.

The coffee giant said it worked with advisers and experts to come up with a collaborative and engaging experience for store associates to learn together “in a way that is right for the values and scale of the company.” Each store will receive a tool kit which will allow for associates to learn together in small self-guided groups. This first training will focus on understanding racial bias and the history of public accommodations in the United States, with future trainings addressing all aspects of bias and experiences.

While Starbucks is closing all of its company- operated Starbucks stores on May 29, most of its 7,000 licensed stores, including those operated by major grocery stores, hotels, universities or airports, are expected to remain open. Starbucks said it is sharing its training content with its  licensed business partners, so they may have the option to make it available to their employees at a later date.

 

 

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Amazon expands its distribution network in Arizona

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is readying to open its newest distribution center in the Grand Canyon State.

Amazon plans to open an 855,000-sq.-ft. fulfillment center that will pick, pack and ship small items to customers, such as books, electronics, household items and toys. This Amazon’s the fifth warehouse in Arizona.

The new building will create 1,500 jobs. Amazon’s four existing Ari-zona fulfillment centers and other facilities throughout the state cur-rently employ more than 7,000 full-time associates.

Amazon first entered the state in 2007. Recognizing Arizona as a logistics hub and gateway to Mexico, Amazon has invested “billions of dollars” into its local fulfillment center infrastructure and through compensation to its thousands of employees throughout the state. Be-tween 2011 and 2016 specifically, Amazon’s investments in the state contributed an additional $900 million into Arizona’s economy, according to the company.

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