Shoplifting Stats + Steps

Retail theft is up, and that’s likely to continue. According to Tech.Co., a Las Vegas-based media company, it cost stores more than $86 billion in 2022, and, according to CapitalOne, that number is expected to soar to $115 billion by 2025. Here, Tech.Co. shares information about the many faces of retail theft and what’s being done to address them.

Tip: Check with your local Chamber of Commerce to find out what your home state and community are doing about retail theft.

Action…or Not

Some states are taking action to derail theft. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that 32 states have so far passed legislation addressing the issue. And, though some retail businesses no longer allow staff to stop perpetrators, nearly six out of 10 retailers participating in this year’s National Retail Security Survey report they still allow employees to confront and detain shoplifters.

Almost half (44.5%) say they beefed up their loss retention budgets last year. That makes sense, considering the rapid rise in theft. In fact, “15.7% of stores…reported ‘3% and higher’ amounts of retail shrink across fiscal year 2020. [That is] up from just 9% of stores in 2016.”

Penalties + Intervention

of retailers still allow employees to confront and detain shoplifters.

According to CNBC, 9 states have increased punishments for retail crime since 2022. California, Florida, Louisiana, and North Carolina have led the way when it comes to stiffening penalties. As for organized crime, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that 32 states have enacted legislation to address this growing problem.

Check out your local Chamber of Commerce and state legislative links to find out what your home state and community are doing. That’s changing in several states, so don’t go on old information. In California, for example, a new bill requires all businesses to have a workplace violence prevention plan in place.

What other steps are retailers taking? Though 39% are currently investigating identification tagging, according to the 2023 survey, only 17% are currently utilizing RFID tracking technology.

Baby Steps

Security can be expensive, but Tech.Co. offers some advice for small businesses.

• Create and communicate a standard protocol.

• Conduct basic scenario training.

• Place registers close to the exit to help speed response time.

• Keep higher-value products in high-visibility areas.

• When it comes to tools, security cameras are the biggest help.

• Lower-cost solutions, like signage and entrance alert systems, have an impact, too.

Looking ahead, as AI technology becomes more affordable, that will play a huge role in keeping product where it belongs…in your store and out of the hands of thieves.

What policies have you adopted to safeguard both inventory and staff? Tell us about it and share in the conversation on Facebook here.

Erinn Morgan

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