Devil in the retail: spotlight on shrinkage
Deep Dive 2: Shrinkage is staggeringly high in Australia’s retail market...
As part of our 2019 Deep Dive series, we explore shoplifting in retail. Stay tuned in the coming weeks leading up to Security 2019 for the trends affecting the different sectors.
According to the latest Sensormatic Global Shrink Index, Australia’s retail sector lost $US2.24 billion in 2017-18. This shrinkage can mainly be attributed to loss, theft and employee fraud.
Shoplifting from internal as well as external sources is a big concern for retailers. As well as dealing with petty thieves, retailers are contending with organised crime syndicates operating in Australia. “These syndicates are increasingly challenging retail security parameters with their elaborate networks,” Lewkovitz says.
The National Retail Association estimates internal fraud accounts for about 40 per cent of retail shrinkage. Organised crime syndicates are also operating inside retail organisations and much of this internal fraud could account for their operations. This kind of crime has traditionally been difficult for businesses to detect.
As a result of shrinkage, loss prevention remains a key issue for security personnel in the retail industry. In 2019 we are likely to see more retailers adopt technologies that have been proved to combat loss prevention, such as internet protocol (IP) surveillance cameras, high-level electronic article surveillance systems (EAS) and point-of-sale (POS) data analytics.
These technologies are not only providing innovation-savvy retailers with better detection and real-time security alerts, they also provide important insights, enabling them to spot trends and make important decisions across multiple stores.