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Survey Says Retail Shrink Declined in 2017

A new survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the University of Florida says that retail shrink, or losses from theft, fraud and other causes, decreased in 2017.

Financial losses from retail shrink were $46.8 billion in 2017, down more than $2 billion from 2016.

The most substantial loss of sales came from “shoplifting and organized retail crime,” which accounted for 36 percent of sales losses. Other factors that caused a loss of sales included theft from internal employees and paperwork mistakes, according to the NRF.

“Retailers are making progress in combating criminal activity, but there are still many challenges,” says Bob Moraca, NRF vice president of loss prevention. “Whether the threat is coming from cybersecurity, organized retail crime or employee theft, the job for retail security teams continues to become more difficult every day, especially when resources and staff are limited.”

For the first time in the survey’s history, retailers were also questioned about the ways in which they are dealing with the potential of cybercrimes. Two-thirds of loss prevention leaders say they meet “at least quarterly with IT/cybersecurity counterparts to discuss potential threats,” and 86 percent of respondents say their company has a cybersecurity response plan in place, the article says.

“Cybersecurity concerns are top-of-mind for retailers today as criminals continue to become more sophisticated in this area,” Richard Hollinger, a University of Florida criminology professor and the lead author of the report, says. “This is a growing threat that will require more resources going forward. Retail executives need to invest more in loss prevention to reduce these losses to their bottom line.”

Hardware Retailing offers additional information on steps your operation can take to combat cybercrime.

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