Retailers, consumers and prices
Check out how shoplifting rates are easing amid economic signs of life.
As severe economic pressures subside, U.S. retailers are noticing a slight decrease in merchandise losses, a.k.a. ”shrinkage,” according to the National Retail Federation. Preliminary results of the group’s latest survey show that shrinkage decreased to 1.44 percent of retail sales in 2009, down from 1.51 percent in 2008.
According to the survey, retailers lost $33.5 billion through lost merchandise last year, down from $36.5 billion in 2008.
“Retailers lose billions to shoplifting, internal theft and other types of criminal activity every year, so it’s encouraging to see these small successes when it comes to shrink rates,” said NRF senior asset protection advisor Joe La Rocca in a statement.
Employee theft was the biggest culprit last year, accounting for $14.4 billion in losses, or 43 percent of the total. Shoplifting accounted for 35 percent of the losses, or $11.7 billion, while administrative errors accounted for 14.5 percent and vendor fraud 3.8 percent.