Richard “Dick” Hollinger, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville who studies employee dishonesty and has overseen the National Retail Security Survey for the past twenty-five years. Hollinger, who is nearing retirement, recently spoke with LP Magazine‘s executive editor, James Lee, to reflect on the changes he’s seen in his nearly 40 years of retail loss prevention research.
In the resulting article, which appears as a feature in the May-June 2016 issue, Hollinger reveals his expectations for retirement and his future plans for the National Retail Security Survey. He also identifies trends from recent survey results. From the article:
“Last year, 2015, was the first year that we actually saw shoplifting slightly exceed employee theft as a percentage of the whole. I don’t know exactly what to make of that. I think it probably has something to do with the attention and perhaps the behavior and serious involvement of professional shoplifters—the ORC groups—that are hitting stores and doing some very serious damage to those shrinkage rates. There still is this problem of the internal theft, the dishonest employee, but maybe retailers are doing a better job of controlling internal theft while still being victimized by the professional organized retail gangs.”
Hollinger goes on to address many of the hot topics in the loss prevention industry right now, including how retailers should discourage employee dishonest; the likely influence of organized retail crime in the loss prevention community; and the major changes in LP leadership thinking over the four decades of his career.
Finally, Hollinger offers some advice on recruiting talented young people into retail loss prevention jobs: “Companies have needs, and students have needs. It’s just a matter of putting these two together in the same room and not having to go through some obtuse website for recruiting purposes.”