Retail crime still on the upWednesday, 11 May 2011
Whilst the number of offences affecting retailers dropped by 11 per cent year-on-year, thieves increasingly targeted higher value products. The average value of goods stolen rose to £70 from £45 the previous year.
John Bailey, Retail Industry Director EMEA, at retail technology solutions provider RedPrairie, says it is now time for businesses to address the problem head on to avoid further barriers to profitability.
A recent survey by Martec International, released at the Retail Fraud Conference in April, shows that coalition government cuts mean more retailers fear the worst for their shrinkage figures, with increased concerns over the link between unemployment and shop theft.
Whilst figures also show that at 0.3% of sales, online fraud prevention spending is currently lower than that in stores but retailers expect this online loss prevention spending to increase as internet trading becomes a higher proportion of sales for most retailers.
Retailers have long focused their loss prevention efforts on customer merchandise theft. Big budgets have been spent on expensive in-store closed circuit television, digital recording, electronic security tagging, and alarms to prevent and monitor customer theft.
Theft is only one side of the story though, and according to the Martec research shoplifting accounts for just 34 per cent of shrinkage, with almost two-thirds relating to losses in other areas, including waste, process error and embezzlement.