It wasn’t that long ago that there was no consistent or reliable means to gather and interpret industry-wide information on retail shrinkage. Not only was it difficult to validate this statistical data on a global scale, we could not truly measure and understand just how big the problem was for retailers. We knew very little about the various sources and causes of shrinkage, how these numbers may or may not be influenced based on the type of retail, how different variables can influence shrink results, and how these results will ultimately impact the overall success of the business. But we learned that by taking a more collaborative and scientific approach to the process, we may discover more effective solutions to preventing shrinkage.
In 1991, Dr. Read Hayes, Professor Bart Weitz, and Dr. Richard Hollinger conducted the first National Retail Security Survey (NRSS). The basic concept was to collect data on the scope and causes of retail loss, including the various countermeasures that were being routinely used across the industry to fight the problem. The first report was only two pages long, but it was an important first step in assessing a problem that all retailers experienced, but few knew very much about.
Since that time, the survey has grown and evolved, serving as both a beacon and a benchmark for an academic approach to the global issues of retail shrink. Firmly established as the longest running LP survey in the industry, there are many retailers that have adopted the lessons revealed through these research efforts, and countless students of loss prevention/asset protection that have carried these lessons forward to the retail community.
The evolution of the LP professional requires the ongoing commitment and support of loss prevention community to help guide us in this mission. NRSS is an invaluable tool for the retail and vendor communities and law enforcement partners, as well as legislative efforts and media awareness campaigns.
The University of Florida and the NRF have partnered together for over a decade to conduct this research. “This is an industry-wide survey, not just for certain retailers,” emphasizes Dr. Hollinger. “All vertical markets need to be represented, so that results and shrinkage statistics are stable and reliable. All comments are confidential and anonymous, and company responses will absolutely not be shared with anyone or any vendor.”
While input from all of our retail partners is greatly desired, there is a calling for several key retail categories that we would like to stress additional participation as we wind up this year’s survey, to include:
- Auto parts
- Cards & gifts
- Consumer electronics
- Craft & hobbies
- Specialty men’s apparel
- Warehouse club
Monday will be the last day to fill out the NRSS! To participate in the 2016 National Retail Security Survey, click here. Complete the survey by the deadline to be entered into a random drawing for one full retailer pass (valued at ~$1250) to the 2016 NRF Protect Conference and Expo in Philadelphia this June.
The 2016 NRSS findings will be launched on June 13th , the day before the 2016 NRF PROTECT conference begins.