Shoplifting Costs Businesses $10 Billion Each Year
The Cost of Poor Security
Some business owners avoid installing physical security due to cost. They feel like it is too expensive to consider and that’s often the end of the conversation for them. However, business owners that don’t seriously consider installing physical security are putting their organizations at risk.
Retail crime can be incredibly costly and a business can lose significantly more money in stolen items and physical damage than the cost of installing security to protect against these crimes.
According to Business Insider, American retailers lose $45 billion each year due to retail theft, with $10 billion coming from shoplifting. As you can see, this is a very large amount of money.
Combined together, shoplifting and employee theft account for $32 billion in losses each year. In general, shoplifting accounts for about 38% of all retail shrinkage.
These facts go against the common thoughts that many business owners have about shoplifting. There is an idea that shoplifting is a small and relatively insignificant issue that business do not need to show great concern for. Many business owners picture a stolen bag of chips or other small items when they think of shoplifting. This causes them to disregard the importance of protecting their properties.
However, failing to protect your business against these crimes will cost you much, much more than the cost of installing appropriate security.
Other Shoplifting Facts
In order to understand the problems that shoplifting causes for businesses, it’s important to understand the facts.
- Men and women shoplift equally often. There is no “typical” shoplifter. About 25% of shoplifters are kids.
- About 73% of shoplifters don’t plan to steal in advance. They see an opportunity to steal and take it when it arrives.
- Many shoplifters steal items in the same store visit that they buy items.
- Most shoplifters are not “professionals” who steal frequently or who do so as a part of a larger crime organization. Only about 3% would be considered “professional.” However, these crimes account for 10% of all shoplifting losses.
- The amount shoplifted varies. Sometimes items that only cost a few dollars are stolen, but, in other cases, more expensive items are shoplifted.
Shoplifters look for items that are small enough to easily be placed into a bag or pocket without being noticed. They also look for items that are not secured and items that are stored in “blind spots” where they can easily steal an item without being noticed by store staff.
Some of the most commonly shoplifted items are small items that have a high dollar value, such as meat, razor blades, baby formula, cosmetics, alcohol, drugs, personal electronics and clothing.
Securing your Business from Shoplifters
There are several ways that you can protect your business and your merchandise from shoplifters. Configuring your store so that staff can easily see all areas of the store is helpful as it eliminates “blind spots” where shoplifters can secretly slide items into pockets or bags.
Another way is to place commonly shoplifted items behind locked gates or inside locked cabinets. By keeping small yet valuable items protected with physical security, you can drastically reduce shoplifting at your business. Customers who wish to purchase these items can ask store staff for assistance. This makes sure that criminals won’t be able to access them. Installing appropriate physical security measures will cause shoplifters to move on to an easier target, keeping your business safe and secure.
We have some more helpful tips to improving the security of your business. Download our helpful guide to Improving Your Security Mindset.