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Shoplifting and Fraud to Cost American Retailers $8.9 Billion Over Christmas Holiday Season

Retailers in the U.S. are expected to lose $8.9 billion over the holiday season (mid-November through Christmas) as a result of shoplifting, dishonest employees and vendor or distribution losses, according to a new study released today by the Centre for Retail Research. The report, funded by an independent grant from Checkpoint Systems, suggests that the losses incurred by the retail industry over this period could add an extra $98 to each family’s shopping bill.

The report found that American retailers could lose $3.8 billion through shoplifting, $4.7 billion through employee theft, and $400 million through vendor and distribution losses.

Losses up 4 Percent From 2011

In total, the losses could represent a four percent increase over the same period last year. The primary contributors to retail crime are employee theft (53 percent) and shoplifting (42 percent).

Speaking about the results, Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research and author of the report, said: “The Christmas season is an especially attractive time for criminals. Thieves take advantage of busy stores to steal high-value, high-demand goods. As a result, retailers face a big threat from professional and semi-professional thieves, many of whom steal goods with the intention of re-selling them. Organized retail crime is a major concern for retailers – especially since the average amount stolen per incident is much higher than ``normal´´ thefts.”

10 Most Stolen Categories of Goods This Season

The 'Shoplifting for Christmas 2012' report also revealed the product categories most likely to be stolen over the Christmas period, which include 1) alcohol, 2) women's clothing and fashion accessories, 3) toys, 4) perfume and health & beauty gift packs, 5) electronic devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, toiletries for men, 6) DVD gift sets and game consoles, 7) food and Christmas decorations, 8) electrical goods including hardware/DIY, 9) watches and jewelry, and 10) chocolates and confectionery.

Per Levin, president and chief sales officer for Shrink Management & Merchandise Visibility Solutions for Checkpoint Systems, said: “During Christmas, consumers spend 60 percent more than in other months, and retailers need to ensure the merchandise is available on the shelves for consumers to buy. We know from Professor Bamfield’s past studies that there is a clear correlation between investments in preventive solutions and the rate of shoplifting. With the right solutions in store, it is possible to reduce the threat of further losses, increase merchandise availability and reap the maximum returns during holiday season.”

About Checkpoint Systems, Inc. (www.checkpointsystems.com)

Checkpoint Systems is a global leader in shrink management, merchandise visibility and apparel labeling solutions. Checkpoint enables retailers and their suppliers to reduce shrink, improve shelf availability and leverage real-time data to achieve operational excellence. Checkpoint solutions are built upon 40 years of RF technology expertise, diverse shrink management offerings, a broad portfolio of apparel labeling solutions, market-leading RFID applications, innovative high-theft solutions and its Web-based Check-Net data management platform. As a result, Checkpoint customers enjoy increased sales and profits by improving supply-chain efficiencies, by facilitating on-demand label printing and by providing a secure open-merchandising environment enhancing the consumer's shopping experience. Listed on the NYSE (NYSE: CKP), Checkpoint operates in every major geographic market and employs 5,600 people worldwide.

Twitter: @checkpointsys

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