Survey: Shoplifters, Employees Fleeced $6B From Major Retailers in 2009

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla.—A new survey reports that shoplifters and dishonest employees stole more than $6 billion from 25 major retailers in 2009.

In the 22nd annual “Retail Theft Survey,” conducted by loss prevention consulting firm Jack L. Hayes Int’l, the 25 surveyed retailers represented nearly 19,000 stores with sales exceeding $605 billion in 2009.

Total shoplifter and employee arrests increased for the fourth consecutive year, up almost 15 percent from 2008, according to the survey. Surveyed retailers made more than 1 million shoplifting apprehensions in 2009, an increase of almost 17 percent compared to the previous year.

The retailers recovered more than $163 million from apprehended shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2009, down 4.9 percent from 2008.

“It appears the poor economy had a hand in both an increase in shoplifting and a decrease in employee theft,” says Jack L. Hayes Int’l President Mark R. Doyle. “Shoplifting apprehensions appear to have increased due to the hard times many people were having and less employees on the sales floor to prevent shoplifting. Employee apprehensions decreased in 2009 due to fewer new hires, less employees overall, and some employees being afraid to lose their jobs.”

Retail theft continues to pinch profits from retailers’ bottom-line revenues, which is driving consumer prices higher and can force companies to close unprofitable stores, Doyle says.

For full survey results click here.


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