Retailers worried about employee theft

According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, shoplifting was up 5.8 per cent in 2009. While consumer theft is on the rise, retailers are still very concerned about the shrinkage from their own employees.

According to the Retail Systems Research online survey of 83 small-to-large multi-national retailers titled “Loss Prevention 2010: Retailers Battling Shrink in Tough Times”, employee theft is a major issue for retailers.

The results highlighted that 68 per cent of retailers named employee theft as one of their top concerns (down 12 per cent from 2008), 62 per cent listed shoplifting as a top concern, (compared to 52 per cent the previous year) and more than 45 per cent listed theft of cash by employees as one of their top three concerns (13 per cent more than 2008).

According to Phil Brown, national retail manager at ADT Security, retailers are becoming better at deterring shoplifting in their stores.

“Deterrence is the name of the game in retail theft and today’s technologies are making employees think twice,” he said.

“We are continuing to work with our retail customers to help them maximise and add technologies like cameras, video analytics and anti-theft tags to target shoplifters and organised retail criminals.”

Brown also added that there are now many solutions available to stop employee theft of cash, including more extensive data collection and analysis of transactions.

The hardest hit retail sectors were clothing shops (up 30.3 per cent), licensed premises (up 18.1 per cent), shopping centres (12.7 per cent) and supermarkets (up 7 per cent).

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