Store Theft In The US Jumped 8.8% Last Year

Maybe this is why stores seem to be getting more and more aggressive about shoplifting: CNN says that retail theft in the US jumped 8.8% over the past year, versus only 1.5% in the prior year. But you may be surprised (only if you’ve never worked retail) to see where most of the theft occurs.

The Center for Retail Research surveyed 1,069 large global retail companies, then identified trends in 41 different countries. In the United States,

Employee theft cost merchants about $18.7 billion in the period, shoplifting cost sellers $15 billion, and processing and other supply chain errors or fraud cost retailers about $6.8 billion.

CNN framed the story by repeating a scary sounding estimate that the cost of these crimes to consumers is about $435 per family over the past year. That sounds pretty crazy, but it also sounds like a threat, or an empty promise: “If you people wouldn’t be such hooligans you could have cheaper things!”

Here’s what I think is far more newsworthy: Employee theft, supply chain errors, and other fraud cost merchants $25.5 billion last year. Theft on the consumer side—and remember, some of that is performed by organized professional criminals—accounted for $15 billion. Yeah, it’s still a huge number, but when your own employees are stealing costing you over one and a half times that, maybe you need to re-think your crime-stopping strategies.

“Store theft cost to your family: $435” [CNN]
(Photo: Gastev)

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