Retailers are keenly aware that when they prevent theft they will at the same time increase profits.   Because inventory shrinkage figures into operating costs, reducing inventory losses will boost profits.  You might be surprised to know that another benefit is reducing inventory shrinkage will also increase sales numbers.

A recent survey conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers studied a supermarket chain tracking 98 unique product sku’s.  The first four weeks they measured inventory shrinkage to set a baseline.  At the end of the four weeks a Checkpoint Security System was installed to prevent theft and it included pedestal antennas at entry / exit ways that react to tags, labels which look like bar codes, “keepers” which are plastic transparent boxes that deny product access and hard tags that are pinned to merchandise and the 98 sku’s were measured for ten weeks.

What they found was surprising; not only did they record a remarkable reduction of 69.79% in inventory shrinkage but additionally measured an increase in sales of 9.2%! This proved the theory that if you prevent theft you will naturally sell more product.  The reason is simply because there is more product available for sale, which proves keeping shelves stocked with product and available for sale is critical to building profits.

The PWC survey focused on how to prevent shoplifting.  This is mostly incoming “customer” traffic taking product out the front door; however, some employee theft goes out the front door too.

There are many ways to prevent theft in retail environments as well as many types of theft to consider when designing a loss prevention program.

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