To shoplift is to knowingly obtain goods or merchandise from an establishment in which they are displayed for sale, without paying the purchase price. This act can include carrying, hiding, concealing, or otherwise manipulating merchandise with the intent to steal it.
Shoplifting issues are the most common contributors to external shrink, having developed into a multibillion-dollar problem that ultimately affects each and every one of us. Not only do these losses affect a company’s bottom line in a variety of different ways, but they also impact us as consumers in the form of higher prices, fewer choices, greater inconveniences, and a reduction in services as businesses attempt to find ways to fight external theft incidents and recover damages.
Shoplifters are not bound by age, gender, race, social background, or any other traits that make us unique and distinctive as human beings. This type of theft isn’t always based on need, and many different incentives may influence the motivation to steal. While every situation has its own merits, the motivations for shoplifting can be as different as the individual.
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Unfortunately, many amateur shoplifters fail to think through the potential consequences of their actions, or misjudge the potential risks of being caught, and make a poor decision. And for the professional shoplifter, their evaluation of risk and reward is based on different motives. Rather, the decision to steal has more to do with the availability, accessibility, demand for and value of the merchandise. When the attraction of the merchandise is coupled with the opportunity to take the items for profit or gain, they see the risk as justified.
Opportunity is often a primary element in the formula for theft. This is also the type of theft motivation that loss prevention professionals have the greatest probability of deterring, and is often at the center of many of training and awareness programs. By providing good customer service and maintaining appropriate controls, many of the opportunities for shoplifting and theft can be eliminated.
Loss prevention and retail industry professionals have a responsibility to stay informed about the latest retail theft statistics. This post provides a snapshot of what retailers currently face when it comes to loss and theft.
Inventory shrinkage refers to the difference between the merchandise a retailer shows in its records Read More
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As a loss prevention professional, it is likely that you have responsibility for detecting, investigating, and resolving internal-theft cases. Doing so may support your organization’s zero-tolerance policy toward internal theft. Many top retailers rely on their loss prevention departments to give them a competitive advantage by controlling their operational costs Read More
By Chris Trlica
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is based on the experiences of a well-known retailer who implemented a facial-recognition security camera system. Because of the potential value of this technology to the retail industry as well as the critical issues surrounding its deployment, the executive who leads this initiative approached the magazine to Read More
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Inventory loss is a fact of life in retail. When maintained at acceptable levels, it’s simply the cost of doing business, much like payroll and other operating expenses. However, when shortage begins to inexplicably trend upward, whether on a store-by-store basis, or even across a chain, it becomes imperative to view the Read More