Yesterday in this space, we learned that retail employees steal, shoppers shoplift, administrators make errors and vendors commit fraud. Such activity added up to multi-billions of dollars in retail fraud last year.
Which products attach themselves to sticky fingers? Cards; gifts and novelties; specialty accessories; craft and hobby items; and supermarket and grocery items, according to the National Retail Security Survey conducted by the University of Florida and the National Retail Federation (NRF).
Wise to organized retail crime, retailers are investing in technologies to deter, detect and convict criminals. Most retailer loss prevention systems include, according to the survey, burglar alarms (95.7 percent); visible closed circuit televisions (87.1 percent) and digital video (84.9 percent).
Other crime-fighting methods used by retailers include check screening (60.4 percent), armored cars (69.8 percent), point-of-sale data mining software (69.1 percent) and hidden closed circuit televisions (57.6 percent).
In addition to impacting the bottom line, said Joe LaRocca, NRF vice president of loss prevention, retail theft also causes prices to rise, innocent employees to be compromised and shoppers to be unable to find the merchandise they want and need.