Survey Says: Retail Apprehensions and Recovery Dollars up in 2019

retail shoplifting

Over 348,000 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2019 by just 21 large retailers who recovered over $136 million from these thieves, according to the 32nd Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International.

Mark Doyle
Mark Doyle

“Two-thirds of retailers participating in this survey reported an increase in shrink in 2019, which is reflected in their reported apprehensions and recovery dollars. Overall apprehensions increased 2.44 percent and recovery dollars from those apprehensions were up 4.88 percent. Shoplifting apprehensions and recover dollars increased 3.04 percent and 3.50 percent respectively, with recovery dollars from shoplifting incidents without an apprehension increasing by 11 percent to $176 million over the prior year,” said Mark R. Doyle, President of Jack L. Hayes International.

“While employee theft apprehensions were down 2.93 percent, the recovery dollars from those apprehensions increased 7.75 percent. Overall, retail theft continues to be a serious problem for retailers negatively impacting their bottom line, and creating more out-of-stocks and higher prices to the consumer,” added Doyle.

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Highlights from this annual theft survey include the following:

Participants—21 large retail companies with 18,994 stores and over $510 billion in retail sales (2019).

Shrink—66.7 percent of survey participants reported an increase in shrink in 2019, with 23.8 percent reporting a decrease in shrink, and another 9.5 percent reported shrink stayed about the same.

Apprehensions—348,036 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2019, up 2.44 percent from 2018.

Recovery Dollars—Over $136 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2019, up 4.88 percent from 2018.

Shoplifter Apprehensions—315,095 shoplifters were apprehended in 2019, up 3.04 percent from 2018.

Shoplifter Recovery Dollars—Over $90 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters in 2019, an increase of 3.50 percent from 2018.

Employee Apprehensions—32,941 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2019, down 2.93 percent from 2018.

Employee Recovery Dollars—Over $45 million was recovered from employee apprehensions in 2019, up 7.75 percent from 2018.

For additional information, statistics, and thoughts-behind-the-numbers, visit the Jack L. Hayes website where you can view a downloadable/printable PDF version of the survey.

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