Retailers Lost More Than $34 Billion To Theft in 2011

Report shows a $2.6 billion decrease when compared to the $37.1 billion loss recorded in the previous report.

Retail theft, including shoplifting, employee theft, administrative error and vendor fraud is down, according to an annual survey recently conducted by the University of Florida with a funding grant from ADT Commercial Security, soon to be Tyco Integrated Security, the industry’s leading security systems integrator.

The National Retail Security Survey 2011 report found that theft as a percentage of revenue was 1.41%, down from 1.49% percent in the previous findings. This calculates to an approximate $2.6 billion decline in losses.

“This year’s decrease in retail theft is evidence retailers are implementing and updating loss prevention strategies in order to reduce shrinkage,” said University of Florida criminologist Richard Hollinger, Ph.D., who conducted the survey. “Furthermore, the decrease can be attributed to the enhancements and improvements in both loss prevention technologies and programs.”

Of the four categories of shrink or losses, employee theft constitutes the largest portion at 43.9% or approximately $15.1 billion. Shoplifting, at 35.7% or $12.3 billion, is the second largest area of lost profits with administrative error and vendor fraud accounting for the balance.

“The decrease in retail theft can be a direct result of the widespread investment in technologies and integrated solutions by retailers,” said Michael Creedon, vice president, National Accounts for Retail at ADT Commercial Security, soon to be Tyco Integrated Security. “Clearly security solutions are proving to be a solid investment and have saved retailers billions of dollars in losses every year. There are a number of technologies and services available today that can help retailers continue to prevent theft, decrease shrinkage and track merchandise effectively.”

According to Creedon, retailers are relying more on efficient inventory and traffic technologies, such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, advanced video surveillance systems and analytics and more robust data collection and reporting solutions. New and enhanced technologies also allow retailers to better understand the consumer and the ever changing buying patterns along with trends in merchandise theft.

“Our goal as a security integrator is to provide the most cost-efficient and highly-effective security solutions to retailers to better protect their customers, employees and assets,” said Creedon. “Actively safe-guarding merchandise allows retailers to keep costs down and pass that cost-savings along to consumers. With the right tools in place, retailers are able to identify the cause of theft, take action and stop and limit shrink.”




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