Virtually every business experiences loss due to theft, but today the retail industry’s vulnerability to customer theft in the form of shoplifting is unparalleled.
Merchant losses continue to be a major problem and plague virtually every retail business from the small “Mom and Pop” store to the large chain store. Every year in Canada, it is estimated that over 3 billion dollars are lost to various criminal activities against merchants. Today shoplifting is considered one of the major sources of loss for the retail industry and costs the industry approximately 3 million dollars in daily losses. There is an average of 150 – thousand incidents of shoplifting in Canada daily, which takes a heavy toll on Canadian retailers. It is estimated that a shoplifter will steal an average of 50 times before finally getting caught and in the year 2008 shoplifters stole an average of $220.00 per incident These figures are extremely disturbing for all retailers especially in today’s fragile economy. Retail losses due to crimes against merchants can seriously jeopardize the survival of a business and can directly financially ruin a company. The cost of shoplifting is often passed on to customers through higher prices which can make the business less competitive as well it makes consumers victims of this crime. Unless a retailer has strict inventory controls in place many retailers may not even realize the extent of the shrinkage which is taking place right in front of them.
Shoplifting Statistics and Facts
Retailing is too tough to have merchandise walking out your door.
- Shoplifting is Canada's # 1 property crime
- Shoplifting has doubled since 2000
- 1 in 10 people is a shoplifter
- In 2008 shoplifters stole an average of $220.00 per incident
- Shoplifters are caught only 1 in 50 times
- Most non-professionals do not plan to steal in advance
- Shoplifting is most active in the month of December
- Sophisticated security systems alone do not stop all shoplifting
- A typical retail business will suffer losses of between 1% - 8 % of total gross sales due to retail shrinkage
- The tax base is reduced and jobs are lost as a result of shoplifting
- Adolescents account for nearly 50% of shoplifters, but they only steal one-third as much as adults
How Much is Shoplifting Costing You
Introducing The Shoplift Prevention Training Program
Our team of retail loss experts developed this training program to give you the retailer and your staff an opportunity to effectively fight back, through
awareness and education. This program will help you recognize and eliminate the vulnerabilities that can make your business an easy target. Within only a couple hours you will gather valuable knowledge and skills to better prevent, detect and reduce shoplifting therefore saving you thousands of dollars in losses per year.
In designing our training program we not only worked closely with various law enforcement agencies, merchants, security companies along with other merchant loss experts. But we closely worked with and interviewed more than 200 shoplifters to learn more about their secrets and many of the tricks of their trade.This is the ultimate key that gives our program a distinct advantage over any other program on the market today. We learned more from the thieves than anyone else and we put all that information into our program. Our goal is to provide you with an easy to follow, well balanced approach towards reducing consumer theft and keeping thousands of your dollars where they belong -- in your pocket..
Shoplifting can cost you a great deal of money and everyone pays for this crime. Retailers suffer lower profits and consumers ultimately pay higher prices. Some stores charge up to 7 cents per dollar to cover retail theft which can make a business less competitive.
Theft of a $2.00 item from a store operating on a 10% profit margin requires the sale of $20.00 in merchandise to make up for the loss. Supermarkets and other retailers operating on low margins of 1% must sell $500.00 in merchandise, just to cover the cost of a $5.00 item. It's easy to see how out-of-control shoplifting can quickly threaten the viability of your business.
How to Best Deal with Shoplifting
Shoplift prevention is by far the best method of dealing with a growing problem (shoplifting has doubled since 2000) and a well trained staff is an inexpensive and highly effective method of reducing theft. Prevention is preferred over detection and apprehension because it is the most cost-effective manner to deal with this problem. It saves the retailer valuable time and money, it saves the consumer money, (Each Canadian pay's an estimated $250 each year because of crimes against merchants) and it saves the local police and the court system. Everyone except the thief wins when preventable strategies are fully utilized.
Why is this Program Important?
Shoplifting can directly contribute to the financial failure of a company and can also jeopardize the safety of all staff members within an establishment. Crimes against merchants continues to be a major problem facing virtually every retail establishment yet many employers and employees have had little or no formal training in business crime prevention. In fact many retail employees do not respond at all when they have a shoplifting incident right in front of them. Many
claim that they will “look the other way” because they are too uncomfortable to confront a thief. Shoplift Prevention Experts agree that the best defense in reducing loss due to consumer theft is a well trained staff. Most shoplifters will also agree ..... when encountering a staff well trained in shoplift loss prevention, even seasoned shoplifters will move on to an easier target.
Due to budgetary cuts local police and RCMP no longer have the manpower, or financial resources to effectively educate merchants and their employees in crime prevention. Often crimes against merchants are not viewed as a priority amongst law enforcement agencies and are more often viewed as an inconvenience and a nuisance. Since the economic downturn all forms of retail loss especially shoplifting and employee theft has drastically increased. This course will
give the necessary skills to enable the employer to prevent, detect and react to difficult situations.
Calculate your total yearly retail losses.
Try this: Estimate your businesses gross yearly sales, then multiply this figure by a value of 1/2%.
Do this again but this time take your gross yearly sales and multiply it by 6%. Your total
yearly retail losses will be a value between these two figures.
Example 1: $500,000 (yearly sales)
5,000 (retail loss)
Example 2: $500,000 (yearly sales)
40,000 (retail loss)
Generally most retail businesses yearly loses are somewhere between the two examples of 1 % and 8%. Although your yearly gross sales will vary the percent figures will remain constant. Please note that Example 1 represents a business with strict inventory control, ongoing staff loss prevention training and a combination of security systems and strategies. Example 2 represents a company with little or no anti-loss policies.
The best cost effective defense in reducing loss due to consumer theft is a well trained staff. Most seasoned shoplifters admit that they will often move onto an easier target, when they encounter a staff that has been well trained in shoplifting prevention. Unfortunately many retail employees are inadequately trained in the prevention of retail loss and this is translates to a substantial monetary losses to retailers.
(Top Anti-Shoplifting Expert)
Owner / Management
Copyright © Fred Tarasoff and Associates 2011
A Live Audio Seminar by one of Canada's foremost experts in Retail Shrinkage, on CD. Listen how to better protect your business from losses due to shoplifting.
Owner / Management
Employee Shoplift Reduction Training Reduces Internal Theft
Recent research shows that shoplift reduction training not only reduces external shoplifting theft, but will also significantly help to reduce internal theft. It is believed that retailers who promote shoplift reduction training to their employees, send the employees a strong message regarding overall retail losses.
Training as Effective as Many Expensive Anti-theft Devices
A recent study by the Institute of Retail Loss suggests that a staff well trained in shoplifting prevention may be more effective in reducing theft than many expensive anti- theft devices. It appeared that the retail outlets where all staff members, managers, full time employees as well as part timers who received training, were able to reduce shrinkage by as much as 70 percent. This is considered a significant reduction considering that many anti-theft devices will only stop up to 60 percent of shoplifting theft.