LP Magazine

JUL-AUG 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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percent saying they are called in for incident response with only 26 percent involved in threat analysis. LP executives are preparing for increased involvement in cyber issues, with 62 percent seeking analytical skills in new hires and 40 percent seeking cyber-security skills. "These are changing times in retail, and that means changes in loss prevention," said University of Florida criminology professor Richard Hollinger. "As always, the challenge is for the honest to stay ahead of the dishonest." The survey of sixty-three loss prevention and asset protection executives from a variety of retail sectors was conducted February 27 through March 29. The study, which is a partnership between Hollinger and NRF and is sponsored by Appriss Retail, was released in early June just prior to the NRF PROTECT conference in Anaheim, California. A link to download the full report is available on the magazine website, LossPreventionMedia.com. Search "2019 NRSS." Retail Theft Cases "Soared" in 2018 According to Recent Hayes Survey Over 279,000 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2018 by just twenty large retailers who recovered over $114 million from these thieves, according to the 31st Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International. "Theft case values soared in 2018 with the average shoplifting case value ($301.97) increasing 11.8 percent; the average dishonest employee case value ($1,361.37) increasing an amazing 30.1 percent; and the total average theft case value ($408.77) up 17.0 percent. While the retailers participating in this survey did not apprehend as many thieves as they did the previous year, they were recovering more dollars from the thieves they did apprehend," said Mark R. Doyle, president of Jack L. Hayes International. "With the increase in dollar recoveries, retail theft overall continues to be a serious problem for retailers negatively impacting their bottom line, which results in higher prices to consumers." Highlights from this annual theft survey include: ■ Participants—Twenty large retail companies with 13,674 stores and over $330 billion in retail sales (2018). ■ Apprehensions—279,196 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2018, down 11.8 percent from 2017. ■ Recovery Dollars—Over $114 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2018, up 3.2 percent from 2017. ■ Shoplifter Apprehensions—251,051 shoplifters were apprehended in 2018, down 11.7 percent from 2017. ■ Shoplifter Recovery Dollars—Over $75 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters in 2018, a decrease of 1.4 percent from 2017. ■ Employee Apprehensions—28,145 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2018, down 12.7 percent from 2017. ■ Employee Recovery Dollars—Over $38 million was recovered from employee apprehensions in 2018, up 13.5 percent from 2017. ■ Average Case Values—Total theft up 17 percent; shoplifting up 11.8 percent; dishonest employee up 30.1 percent. ■ Shrink—55 percent of survey participants reported an increase in shrink in 2018, with 35 percent reporting a decrease in shrink, and another 10 percent reported shrink stayed about the same. Shoplifting The Hayes International report cites the following shoplifting issues. Reduced Customer Service Due to Fewer Sales Associates on Floor. Fewer sales associates on the sales floor provides shoplifters with the privacy they want/need to commit their acts of theft. Unfortunately, more retailers are becoming self-service, instead of customer service focused. Shoplifting Felony Thresholds Increasing. There are currently twenty-nine states with a felony threshold for shoplifting/larceny of $1,000 or higher. Shoplifting cases less than these high-dollar thresholds result in a misdemeanor offense only, meaning less police assistance and little if any punishment. Thieves view shoplifting as a high-reward, low-risk endeavor. Stolen Merchandise is Easy to Sell to Larger Audiences. Many thieves have found that selling their stolen items through various online auction sites or returning their stolen goods for a merchandise credit or gift card (which they sell to a second party) results in quicker sales and much higher prices than the traditional selling of items on the street or at a local flea market. continued from page 66 Mark Doyle "Theft case values soared in 2018 with the average shoplifting case value ($301.97) increasing 11.8 percent; the average dishonest employee case value ($1,361.37) increasing an amazing 30.1 percent; and the total average theft case value ($408.77) up 17.0 percent." - Mark R. Doyle, Jack L. Hayes International 68 JULY–AUGUST 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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