Retail theft is up, according to a September poll by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). Last month, FMI ran a quick poll among food industry loss prevention executives at retailer, wholesaler and vendor companies. Three-quarters of those surveyed said losses increased over the past three to six months.
Of the three groups, wrote FMI Research Director Anne-Marie Roerink in the FMI/Nielsen/Lempert e-newsletter, “food retailers are the most likely to have noted rising theft levels at 80 percent. . . .”
The majority of loss prevention executives, Roerink said, firmly believe the economic pressures are at the root of the increase. . . . She went on to say that 95 percent of executives believe the economy is either somewhat or a major factor in the reported change.
Eighty-two percent report an increase in shoplifting, and 63 percent are dealing with increased employee theft. Other causes mentioned include organized retail crime, bad checks, theft of equipment, credit card fraud and gift card theft/fraud.
Employee education and increased monitoring, Roerink wrote, may help curb the loses in all these areas.
Word to the wise retailer: Alert your employees, talk to your local law enforcement officials. Do what you can to avoid falling into this trap.