Canadian Security Magazine

U.S. retailers losing almost $9 billion to shrink during shopping season

By Canadian Security   

News Retail

According to a study from the Centre for Retail Research, U.S. retailers can expect to lose US$8.9 billion over the holiday shopping season (mid-November to Christmas) due to shrink.

The report, which received funding from Checkpoint Systems, broke down the losses as: $3.8 billion through shoplifting, $4.7 billion through employee theft, and $400 million through vendor and distribution losses. The report estimated that losses incurred could cost each shopping family about $98 extra shopping dollars.

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research and author of the report, said in a statement: “The Christmas season is an especially attractive time for criminals. Thieves take advantage of busy stores to steal high-value, high-demand goods. As a result, retailers face a big threat from professional and semi-professional thieves, many of whom steal goods with the intention of re-selling them. Organized retail crime is a major concern for retailers — especially since the average amount stolen per incident is much higher than ‘normal’ thefts.”

The 10 most likely items to be stolen over the season include: alcohol; women’s clothing and fashion accessories; toys; perfume and health and beauty gift packs; electronic devices such as smartphones and tablet computers; toiletries for men; DVD gift sets and game consoles; food and Christmas decorations; electrical goods including hardware/DIY; watches and jewelry; and chocolates and confectionery.


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