How vulnerable is your retail business to shoplifting? Even though “crime does not pay,” apparently that truism isn’t enough of a warning to deter the daring person determined to steal from a store.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), theft was the leading cause of inventory shrinkage in 2015, costing retailers thousands of dollars.
The 2016 National Retail Security Survey, conducted by NRF and the University of Florida, reported that the average loss from theft was “$377 per incident (39 percent), up nearly $60 from 2014,” and that the average expense to retailers in 2015 was $8,180.17. In 2014, that figure was $2,465 – quite a hefty leap.
NRF’s vice president of loss prevention, Bob Moraca, says that loss prevention is complex and is growing more so every day in spite of advances in technology designed to stop crime.
What can retailers do?
Dr. Richard Hollinger, criminology professor at the University of Florida and leading author of the survey, recommends that “retailers continue building relationships with law enforcement and leverage new technologies that can further provide protection to their assets, customers and employees.”
To catch a thief it makes obvious sense to install surveillance cameras. But, you may not even notice a thief in the act, or even be aware of missing merchandise in the first place, unless you track inventory often and do routine inventory audits.
Inventory control is vital to the health of your retail business. Part of that process is staying on track with inventory numbers. Item discrepancies could be the red flag that alerts you to having inventory shrinkage issues you weren’t aware of, including theft.
Crime does not pay. But an inventory management system does by helping you identify and stop shrinkage issues from hitting your bottom line.