Survey: Shoplifters, Employees Cost 23 Retailers Nearly $7B in 2013

On a per case average, employees steal approximately 5.4 times the amount stolen by shoplifters, according to loss prevention consulting firm Jack L. Hayes Int’l.

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. – Shoplifters and employees stole almost $7 billion from 23 large retailers in 2013, according to an annual survey by loss prevention consulting firm Jack L. Hayes Int’l.

The 26th annual Retail Theft Survey examined 23 large retail firms with more than 23,000 stores and sales exceeding $660 billion in 2013. Surveyed retailers apprehended almost 1.2 million shoplifters and employees last year, an increase of almost 2.8% from 2012.

According to Mark Doyle, president of Jack L. Hayes Int’l, the number of apprehensions and recovery dollars were up for both shoplifters and employees. For shoplifting, the apprehensions were up 2.5% and the recovery dollars 4.5%; and for employees the apprehensions were up 6.5% and 2.5% for recovery dollars. The numbers follow similar escalations reported the previous two years. 

To better prevent and detect both external theft and internal theft, a collaborative effort between retailers, security equipment manufacturers and installing security contractors is needed to come up with workable cost effective solutions, Doyle tells SSI.

“Many retailers are relying on EAS [electronic article surveillance] and CCTV in an attempt to both deter and detect shoplifting,” he says. “On the dishonest employee side, data analytics, point-of-sale exception based software, and CCTV tied into the POS system are all being used successfully. These technologies should be considered by all retailers.”

Following are more details from the annual theft survey:

• More than $199 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters and employees in 2013, up 4% from 2012.

•1,102,635 shoplifters were apprehended in 2013, up 2.5% from 2012.

•More than $144 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters in 2013, an increase of 4.5% from 2012. An additional $98.6 million was recovered from shoplifters where no apprehension was made, a 22.2% increase from 2012.

•78,085 employees were apprehended in 2013, up 6.5% from 2012.

•More than $55 million was recovered from employee apprehensions in 2013, up 2.5% from 2012.

• One out of every 39.5 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2013 (based on over 3 million employees).

•On a per case average, employees steal approximately 5.4 times the amount stolen by shoplifters ($706.21 vs. $130.89).

For full survey results, click here.

About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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