Retailers Face $8.9 Billion in Shrink, Shoplifting Losses This Holiday

12/4/2012
Retailers in the U.S. are expected to lose $8.9 billion over the holiday season (mid-November through Christmas) as a result of shoplifting, dishonest employees and vendor or distribution losses, according to a new study released by the Centre for Retail Research. The report, funded by an independent grant from Checkpoint Systems, suggests that the losses incurred by the retail industry over this period could add an extra $98 to each family's shopping bill.

The report found that American retailers could lose $3.8 billion through shoplifting, $4.7 billion through employee theft, and $400 million through vendor and distribution losses.

Losses up 4 percent from 2011
In total, the losses could represent a four percent increase over the same period last year. The primary contributors to retail crime are employee theft (53 percent) and shoplifting (42 percent).

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research and author of the report, said, "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."

10 categories of most stolen goods this season
The Shoplifting for Christmas 2012 report also revealed the categories of products most likely to be stolen over the Christmas period, which include:
  1. alcohol
  2. women's clothing and fashion accessories
  3. toys
  4. perfume and health & beauty gift packs
  5. electronic devices such as smartphones and tablet computers
  6. DVD gift sets and game consoles
  7. food and Christmas decorations
  8. electrical goods including hardware/DIY
  9. watches and jewelry, and
  10. chocolates and confectionery

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