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. Just recently, Senior LP and AP executives in our nation’s top 100 retail firms should have received a link to complete the 2015 National Retail Security Survey by email. If you are a senior LP or AP executive and have not received this link, please notify Dr. Richard Hollinger at rhollin (at) ufl (dot) edu.
“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.”