Quit Stalling About Employee Theft

Every day I see news articles about employee theft. That does not even cover a fraction of the employee theft occurring both know or unknown. The fact is that approximately 45% of a Retailer’s losses are due to employees stealing. We focus so heavily on shoplifting that many times a Retailer misses the boat completely. Do not misinterpret what I am saying, shoplifting is responsible for about 35 percent of a Retailer’s losses. Which is also huge.

However, employees have access to your cash, supplies, and merchandise. Employees are generally trusted until they show us that they are not. Which may be too late! Many Retailers I have discussed this with over the years tell me that they trust their employees and treat them well. Therefore they would not steal from them. Those are the folks that have the worst losses and the biggest shock when it does happen. As human beings, we do not want to believe that someone would steal from us. We also are quick to turn a blind eye to the evidence even when it hits us in the head. We simply do not want to believe it.  

Another factor is that many Retailers do not know, understand and are afraid to do something. Will we make a mistake? Would we accuse someone of something they did not do? What civil and criminal consequences do we face? And the list goes on. This is yet another stalling factor for not doing anything. 

Quit stalling about employee theft. You face every other retail problem head on why not this. Educate yourself. We can help you with this. Make sure you know the signals of employee theft. Yes, employees who steal, act differently than other employees. You simply need to know what to listen and watch for. Do you “audit” your operation? For example, an audit can be as simple as making sure the Point-Of-Sale balances every day and if it does not, find out why. I have seen many Owners and Managers that say if the drawer is short $5 or less, they do not look into it because “it is not worth my time”, REALLY??? THAT IS SO WRONG and dangerous!!!! First by having a policy like this you are telling everyone that stealing $4.99 and below is okay. $4.99 times 365 days a year is a loss of $1,821.35. Oh, and that kind of theft WILL lead to larger and more frequent employee theft. 

Over my career, I have investigated, interrogated and put in jail somewhere north of 2300 employees for theft. The vast majority of those employees that were stealing did it for the same reasons. Many still stole even those the boss was “good to them”. I have seen employees that had been loaned large amounts of money by their employer, employees that were being put through school by their employer steal with no regret except for being caught. 

We can train you to spot employee theft and what to do about it when you suspect and find it. It is not hard to do. We can show you how to “test” employees to see if they are stealing. We can help you build the confidence to be on the offense, not the defense.  Your good employees will not care or suffer. In fact, they will help you. You just need to know how to proceed. 

Would you knowingly buy a car that had major engine and transmission problems? Probably not. So why would you hire someone with a criminal record? Why would you not find out that they have problems with violence, theft, drugs and worse when it is so simple, fast and cost-effective to do so? We can help you with that also. We conduct pre-employment screening, drug testing and more, nationwide. Look at it this way, you interview, select, employ, train, invest in an employee just to find out the hard way that they are very familiar with employee theft? When a pre-employment screening costs $20 how can you afford not to. Drug testing is also very inexpensive. You can quickly, cheaply and easily have a pre-employment drug testing done on all of your employment candidates when you offer them the position. Again, we conduct pre-employment screening and drug testing nationwide. 

You control every other aspect of your business, why would you not take more control of employee theft? Contact us today or call toll free 1-866-914-2567. 

I Want Shoplifters To Steal From My Store!

Really?? Is that what you are thinking? Because if you do not have an active shoplifting prevention plan that you work, then you might as well put up a sign that says “Shoplift Here Because We Do Not Care!” That is what the shoplifters hear and see.  

So to have a great plan in place for shoplifters to steal, here are the things you need to do: 

  • Poor customer service. Shoplifters love it when they come into your store and the customer service is lax, mediocre or simply non-existent. They do not need your help to steal, just privacy. 
  • Make sure you do not train your employees to spot and/or deter shoplifters. Lazy, untrained store staff are the shoplifter’s best friend. You really cannot say “steal my stuff” better than that. 
  •  DO NOT BUY a Sensormatic anti-shoplifting system from Loss Prevention Systems! We are in the business of shutting down shoplifters. 
  • Make sure that you keep the lighting dim. Do not replace lights when they go out especially in dark, hidden areas of your store. It makes the shoplifter’s job easier. 
  • Do not put those pesky little Sensormatic hard tags and labels on your merchandise. It hurts the shoplifter’s ability to resell your stuff.  
  • Make sure that your staff never greets anyone when they come in. If you are not going to supply good customer service anyway do not bother to look up from your smart phone. You certainly do not want to have a low score in that on-line game you are playing. Besides, greeting shoplifters makes them feel uncomfortable because they have been noticed. 
  • Make sure shoplifters have a clear unobstructed path out of your doors. That way the arm load of merchandise they have in hidden or in plain sight does not get in their way. Actually it will make it more convenient for them to load up even more. 
  • If you want to at least feel a little better about all this put up signs that say “No Shoplifting” or “Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted”. This sends a clear signal to the shoplifters that you have no clue about what it takes to stop them. It is kind of like that old joke; putting up shoplifting signs is like wetting your pants in a dark suit. You feel warm but no one notices. 
  • If you do spot a shoplifter, do not stop them. This is the best way to spread the word in the shoplifting world. They will flock to you like flies to….. They will clean you out just in time to move in next season’s merchandise. Hey, this also saves you time and payroll dollars in the inventory process since there is less to count. 
  • Make sure you have a CCTV system since shoplifters do not care about cameras. They know you do not have the payroll dollars to watch them full time and they know that they will be long gone before you would have any opportunity to review the recording. 

On the other hand shoplifting prevention is not all that difficult. Just do the opposite of the items listed above. We can help you with all of it from procedures, training and the installation of a brand new Sensormatic system. 

Building Structure And Design To Discourage Theft

When stores are put together it is usually designed with appearance and functionality in mind. What you may not have thought about is how the structure and layout of a store might be helpful in discouraging shoplifting and other crimes. Have you ever paid attention to the gas station store layouts? Often the cashier island is in the center of the building and raised higher than the rest of the store. Low fixtures allow almost complete visibility of all areas of the store. It may not seem too important but if you have worked in Loss Prevention you know that this is an intentional design that helps reduce theft. By placing the employees higher they can see over customer’s heads and view what is happening in more parts of the store. Shorter gondola shelving may hamper how much merchandise can be displayed but by the same token visibility is enhanced. Those hiding places that shoplifters tend to congregate to become much harder to find.  

     It is important for store owners to keep theft in mind as they are planning how they are going to design their stores. Here are some additional ideas that you can consider as you build a store or perhaps redesign an existing one: 

  • Corral areas where high theft items are stocked. Corralling is the use of gondolas and cash register stands to create an enclosed department. There is only one way in and out and that requires passing the register. This design gives the managers a lot of control over the area and makes theft much more difficult. The drawback to a corralled department is that an employee has to always be dedicated to the department. That means it becomes a payroll expense. Many large chains that were utilizing this concept have moved away from it due in part to the cost of running it. It also ties down an employee who could otherwise help in other areas. 
  • Bright lighting throughout the store is important. Criminals seek shadows and darkness to cover their activity especially dark corners. Make these areas uninviting to crooks. Ensure you have lighting that hits every part of the store. This should include your stockrooms as well. Shoplifters are not the only criminals that will take advantage of your building, dishonest employees will too. 
  • For fire exit doors ensure the egress bars are set up with delays. Frequently shoplifters will fill up a shopping cart or bag with merchandise and hit a fire door with a getaway car parked right outside. A thief doesn’t want anything that will delay their exit from a building. A delay on a fire exit doesn’t have to be a long one but it does activate the door alarm when the egress bar is pushed. This alerts employees that a fire door is about to open and if someone is nearby they can respond to it quickly. A sign is required to be placed on the door or the bar alerting people that the door does have a delay. This can discourage many potential grab and run shoplifting incidents. 
  • Bollards or decorative barriers such as cement planters set up at the edge of the sidewalk outside of the front door(s) are an important feature. The use of such barriers discourage a vehicle being from driven through the entrance in a crash and run theft. 
  • Electronic article surveillance towers at all entrance and exit doors are a powerful deterrent to theft. Shoplifters become aware that anti-theft measures are in place as soon as they walk into the store. Using towers at employee accessible doors discourages associates from stealing from the workplace. A word of caution, don’t set up dummy towers and think you will achieve the same results. Criminals will figure out what is going on. Use Sensormatic equipment and Sensormatic tags and labels to get the real protection your store needs. 
  • Have counterfeit bill scanners and cash drop boxes at each register. Cashiers can scan all $20, $50 and $100 bills to prevent fraud. The drop box is used to remove the threat potential of short change artists, till tappers and even robberies. 
  • Finally, though they may seem expensive a few strategically placed cameras and Public View monitors can aid your managers in moving thieves out of hard to see locations.  

Store design has a direct influence on theft and crime. Putting barriers up that will hinder crime and eliminating those obstacles that prevent your team from seeing your customers can improve the security of your building. Remove crime and you make your store safer while also making a positive impact on profits.                                                

We Installed A Sensormatic System. Our Shoplifting Problems Are Over, Right?

NO! not yet. Before we begin patting ourselves on the back you must remember that your Sensormatic System is only part of your shoplifting solution. Your Sensormatic System will protect your merchandise however, many shoplifters are determined and will try to steal anyway. The Sensormatic System itself is a deterrent. Its mere presence will dissuade many shoplifters.

There are TWO PARTS to the shoplifting solution. Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. (LPSI) did not invent them, we simply perfected them both. So in your case:

✓  Sensormatic System installed by Loss Prevention Systems.

 Staff training by Loss Prevention Systems. LPSI includes FREE anti-shoplifting training with every Sensormatic system you purchase from us, as often as you reasonably need it.

Let’s discuss the training to teach your staff how to deter shoplifters. First, we have to get our heads straight about your Sensormatic System. The system is there protecting your tagged merchandise 24/7. It is critical to have but you must realize that to fully stop shoplifters, the first line of defense must be customer service. Shoplifters hate customer service. They do not want you near them and need privacy to conceal your merchandise even if only for a moment.

We want to teach your staff to approach every customer and at a minimum greet them. Did you know that over half of all shoplifters are classified as “impulse” shoplifters? An impulse shoplifter is someone who has entered your store and will only shoplift if you give them the opportunity. Many studies over the years have shown that most impulse shoplifters will not shoplift in your store, during that visit if they are properly greeted! Wow, that means that if you or your staff greet them when they walk in the door with a verbal greeting such as “welcome to xxxx” and as important use good eye contact that it is likely that the impulse shoplifter will not steal from you during that visit! So you have put a serious dent in your shoplifting losses by just greeting customers.

Of course, greeting customers also helps us to achieve higher sales. It gives the legitimate customer a chance to ask a question and makes them feel more at home. Think about it, good customers love customer service, shoplifters hate it. Customer service everyone to death and increase your sales and reduce your shoplifting losses all with one technique.


 

Sensormatic & Loss Prevention Systems Join Forces

We are excited to announce our partnership with Johnson Controls/Sensormatic. Sensormatic is one of the oldest and largest Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) manufactures in the world. Loss Prevention Systems has deep loss prevention and EAS experience.

We are offering the entire Sensormatic line of Acousto Magnetic (AM) products to our customers. We will still carry RF products such as hard tags, labels and high theft product protection. Acousto Magnetic systems by Sensormatic give us solutions to fix a number of issues that traditional RF cannot handle. This includes labels applied directly to metal and systems that can handle wider door widths.

Do you have a single doorway, double doorway or a mall entrance? Sensormatic can cover it. Tired of shoplifters taking merchandise into your restrooms and concealing it? We can fix that problem also. From an EAS standpoint, there is not much we cannot do. Challenge the Loss Prevention Systems team to design a system to fit your needs and budget.

Loss Prevention Systems’ choice of Sensormatic is also based on the quality of the systems. Sensormatic systems are extremely robust. They include features such as low power consumption, door frame and hidden systems that keep the Retailers’ storefront looking neat and clean while protecting your merchandise 24/7.

Pricing is also a factor. Sensormatic line of systems will fit a wide range of budgets depending on the features you select. We also have people counting, and data reporting. This gives the Retailer important intelligence on customer traffic and flow. We have seen many of our customer’s significantly reduce expenses in both payroll and operating costs by having this data. Store hours can be adjusted and you can adjust staffing to fit the real world.

Want more? How about having your Sensormatic EAS systems online and monitored at all times? This allows us to know if the system has been turned off or if it has maintenance or other issues. We then notify you. You no longer have to solely rely on your staff to discover that the system has an issue sometimes days or weeks later. By that time shoplifters have had a party on your dime.

On top of this Loss Prevention Systems now has a free shipping program for the purchase and installation of a Sensormatic system. One more way we are saving you money.

A typical Sensormatic system can be installed in one day. This minimizes the interruption in your store.

Of course, Loss Prevention Systems still provides free, live loss prevention training to our customers for the life of your EAS system. We will conduct any of our live sessions as often as you reasonably need them. Staff turnover? Promotions? Changes in product lines? Our training sessions include the following.  

     

We include so many other services that Loss Prevention Systems can be your one stop shop for loss prevention support. So experience our award-winning service and support. Our goal is to keep your hard earned money on your bottom line, not the shoplifters.


Lighten Your Load With Applicant Management Center

National retail chain stores often rely on a management team to handle all of the daily operations of a business. These positions vary from company to company but depending on the size and sales volume of that retailer there are different managers to oversee diverse functions. There may be soft lines and hardlines department managers, a freight manager, Human Resource Manager and a store manager. Some stores might only have a sales floor manager, freight manager, and a store manager who also functions as the human resources manager. For an independent business owner, these sub-managers might be a luxury that is not affordable to them. That means it is up to the store manager to oversee all store functions and if an employee calls out that may be one more job the manager fills for a day. This takes me back to an old saying I have heard, “Work smarter, not harder”. It is not possible for a store owner or a single manager to effectively perform all of the tasks associated with running a store every single day. Finding ways to lighten the load and improve efficiency can make life much better for a retail owner.

     One of the areas of business that can take up a significant portion of time is the hiring process and tracking all the paperwork that goes with it. From the Society for Human Resource Management (shrm.org) 2017 Talent Acquisition Benchmarking some statistics related to hiring and recruiting that are pertinent to this topic:

  • 22% of organizations used automated prescreening to review job applicants’ resumes in 2016
  • The average time to fill a position was 36 days in 2016
  • The average cost- per- hire was $4,425 in 2016
  • Employees within their first year of employment accounted for 26% of all separations
  • Position responsible for recruiting applicants for nonexecutive openings: HR Generalist 48%, in-house recruiter 25%, Hiring Manager 16%, Third-Party recruiter/staffing agency 3%, Other 8%
  • Selection Techniques Used to Assess Candidates (non-exempt ( hourly) Nonmanagement), references 65%, phone screening 65%, one-on-one interview 68%, In-person screening 50%, structured interview 32%

As we look closer at these statistics it is important to note 89% of recruiting for nonexecutive openings is conducted by a Human Resources Manager, Hiring Manager or In-House Recruiter. Bigger retail stores may be able to afford a position to conduct this workload but in your case, that obligation falls to you. Now take that workload and consider that 26% of separations from your company are likely to happen within an employee’s first year AND it takes 36 days on average to fill that position. Over 1/12th of your year is tied up with extra work associated with an open position for just 1 vacancy. This is not taking into account the time you will spend training the new employee when you do get them hired.  In your hiring process, you are going to contact references, phone screen with an applicant, conduct a one-on-one interview and there may well be some type of structured interview. Don’t forget you will still be running the store as you go through this process. It only makes sense that an alternative resource has to be out there that can ease this burden.

      Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. offers just such a solution with the Applicant Management Center. This system allows you to post job ads and applicants can apply for them 24/7. Rather than having to comb through stacks of applications you have the ability to set up screening questions that will eliminate many unqualified applicants, saving you valuable time. Not only will unqualified candidates be weeded out of your hiring pool, you also cut down on the time you spend interviewing applicants who don’t meet your minimum job requirements. It is important to recognize that if you can get the right people on your team in the first place you are unlikely to lose them within that 1-year window. That means not spending time hiring, not spending $4,425 hiring and not spending hours training a new employee. There is a myriad of benefits when managers are using the Applicant Management System.

     One final thought to share. Turnover can have a dramatic impact on a business as can drug use and prior criminal history that often lead to employee theft issues and losses leading to turnover. The Applicant Management System provides the ability to initiate drug screening and background checks which helps managers protect their stores from undesirable employees. In turn, owners improve retail shrinkage, cash losses, store safety and profits. Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. can lighten your workload and improve profits all with the help of the Applicant Management System.  Work smarter, not harder.


What is Shrink And What Does It Mean For Your Profit And Bottom Line?

 What is shrink? Obviously, that will depend on the context in which you are referencing it. It may be what happens when we wash a new pair of jeans in hot water. Maybe it is what happens to our household budget when our children get older and require more food, clothing, and school supplies. In retail, it has a different meaning altogether. Shrink is not a downsizing of a store or reduction of staff (although it can lead to those things if not addressed). Retail shrink is merchandise we cannot account for due to any number of reasons. It impacts the profit margin of a store and since those losses directly affect the retailer there are usually steps the store owner takes to try to offset those lost dollars. If not well thought out those measures the store owner takes could hurt the business further. There is a vicious circle that follows and can lead to a store closing down.

     In Retail Loss Prevention we generally identify four primary causes of shrink, shoplifting, employee theft, vendor shortage/fraud and administrative errors. According to the 2017 National Retail Security Survey, approximately 66.5% of shrink is attributable to shoplifting and employee theft combined. 21.3% of shrink is due to administrative and paperwork errors, 5.4% is related to vendor fraud or error and 6.8% was unknown (pg. 8). The same report states that the average retail shrink rate in the U.S. was 1.44% in 2017 (pg. 6). Since this is an average that means there are industry sectors that are higher and others that are a bit lower so where your store may fall can depend on what you sell.

     What mistakes do retailers make when trying to cover the profit losses from shrink? Often they increase prices on merchandise. Those price changes may be a few cents per item or a few dollars but no matter how small the increase regular customers notice those hikes. There comes a point when customer loyalty takes a backseat to customer’s budgets. No matter how minute you may feel a price increase is there is a threshold that customers will finally say enough is enough and they relent and shop at a big box retail store. Some store owners will make up for the lost revenue through reduced payrolls. This may include getting rid of full-time positions and making them part-time positions saving on benefit expenses. Employee hours may be reduced all around with the store owner picking up more of the workload themselves. The impact of this strategy is a blow to employee morale and loyalty. It can also lead to increased employee theft as those employees feel the financial pinch of the reduced hours and feel cheated. Reduced employee hours also means fewer people on the salesfloor providing customer service which results in more shoplifting, ergo more shrink. As you can see taking the wrong steps to address shrink can lead to a cycle that is hard to break and can lead to a store shut down.

     So if a retailer opts not to raise prices what is the resolution to solving the problem of shrink? Retailers cannot afford to continuously bear the costs of shrink. Assuming over 60% of a store’s shrink is incurred through theft then anti-theft measures are a logical starting point. Sensormatic security systems and tags play a critical role in theft prevention. They are proven to significantly cut into theft related shortage. They also help reduce a portion of administrative shortage. If it is tagged, merchandise overlooked in a shopping cart will activate an alarm and be paid for or returned to the store. Requiring vendors to check in and out of the store on a sign in sheet and making them talk to a manager about what they have done that day holds them accountable. Store managers should be doing weekly reviews of vendor credits to ensure they are not losing money for product removed from the store.

     Shrink can cut into your profit margin and if that isn’t bad enough addressing it improperly can make the situation for your store worse. Taking positive steps to address each of the areas where losses occur will improve shortage results. It will make you, your employees and your customers happier when your actions are directed towards the real culprits of shortage.

     


Employee Dishonesty Is Not Always Easy To Identify

I recently read an article entitled “How to spot a liar in your inbox” by Vanessa Van Edwards. The article discussed the nuances of how to tell if someone is lying to you in an email. The writer made some interesting observations on the lack of personal pronouns in the body of an email, inconsistency in tense usage and vague language. It dawned on me that often this is the same thing supervisors handle on a regular basis with employees. Think back to a phone call you have taken from an employee calling out of work. Often the conversation goes something like this, “I don’t feel well, I think I am going to have to call out today.” The employee is using language that does not make sense. They “think” they have to call out. Either they do or they don’t have to call out, the decision is theirs to make. Saying “I think” sounds more like asking permission to call out than making a decision of their own. Avoiding responsibility is one way an employee may try to lie without feeling guilty about it.

Another method of avoiding responsibility especially when something has gone wrong is to avoid using “I”. In these situations, a person will often use “we” or “they” to transfer blame away from themselves. I recall a department manager that worked for me and I would ask about why our team was not done with their tasks by a certain timeline. This manager never took responsibility for the pace of the team or their failure to get the job done when the timelines were not met. Rather than have an honest discussion about where his focus had been or what impacted the workflow this manager would say “they weren’t moving quickly” or “there were small boxes and it took longer than “we” thought it would. There was no “we” it was his responsibility but by not using “I” he was trying to shift the blame. My conversations with him were about “MY” expectations and prior discussions “I” had conducted with him (not to mention the discussions I had with my boss). It is not comfortable to have to confront a situation but the only way to effectively deal with a problem is to own what is yours to own and find solutions to a problem. Deflection, avoidance, and excuses never fix anything.

In my role as a Loss Prevention Manager, I frequently encountered situations of people lying to me. Until the futility of their lies became obvious to them many shoplifters would try to shift blame or avoid responsibility for their actions. My friends made me do it or dared me to do it was a great example of this. Catching a dishonest employee and conducting an interview with him/her over their crime was another opportunity to catch someone lying. Rarely would someone admit to what they had done and rarer still was the person who would take outright ownership of their criminal activity. “I don’t know what you are talking about.” was an immediate response to being confronted about theft. It usually took a lot of effort to get to where someone would admit to what they had done. Sometimes the person has to have the facts placed before them to get them to acknowledge wrong-doing.

You may not be dealing with employee theft but you will certainly have to confront employees about incomplete or unsatisfactory assignments and projects. There will also be those times when you have customer service issues that you have to handle. If you do not have the confidence that your employees will be honest with you it may require you to be able to distinguish fact from fiction. Sometimes a manager owns some responsibility when an employee lies to them. The lie is not right but if the manager has made himself unapproachable or is overly critical and harsh in discussing opportunities it becomes understandable. Who wants to talk to a supervisor about a problem they are having if the impression is that they are going to get raked over the coals if they do something wrong? The environment of a workplace can make a difference in the actions of the employees.

Make sure you have an open door policy and are genuinely interested in your employees. If they are going to be deceitful with you make sure you have not contributed to the problem. Then make sure you can recognize some of the signals that someone is attempting to deceive you. The ability to identify deceitful workers can make identifying and dealing with workplace problems much easier for you in the long run.


     

Shoplifting, Employee and Vendor Theft: Is There A Solution?

Employee theft, shoplifting, and vendor theft are problems that the retail industry faces every single day without a clear solution. The billions of dollars lost to these crimes is a constant problem for retailers, and the losses have to be accounted for someplace else, and they need to make them up somehow to minimize their losses.  The amount of sales retailers need to cover any losses is significant and not easy to do. Is preventing the loss the first step to stop the crime? Read more about this topic by clicking the links below.


Wage Theft and Shoplifting: Same Cost, Different Deterrents

The treatment of these two kinds of crime, however, are completely different.

Many more resources go into trying to deter, detect, and punish the guy trying to pinch a video game system off the shelf at the local big-box store than into the grand theft the store itself may be perpetrating against its own employees—even if the retailer is taking millions of dollars from workers’ paychecks. It’s one more way that the economic crimes of the powerful are treated far less seriously than the transgressions of those with less power.


Task force teaches businesses how to thwart fraud, theft

The enormous number of ways criminals can defraud shoppers and business owners requires increasing awareness about how to combat their efforts, Greenwich police detective and state financial crimes task force member Mark Solomon told attendees of a Monday panel on how to combat identity theft and retail fraud.

“It’s a constant cat-and-mouse game — there’s always a vulnerability criminals will learn to exploit,” Solomon said during his presentation. “It’s not if (criminals) do have our information, but how many times over they have it.”

Due to its wealth and slowness to adopt more secure credit card technology, the United States has become a prime target for cybercrime and fraud, according to Solomon and his co-presenter Christopher Riley, resident agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Connecticut financial crimes task force.


Employee retail theft soars says new report

When it comes to insider theft and employee dishonesty, the news is not good for the nation’s retailers. At least that is what Mark Doyle, president of Jack L. Hayes International, one of the leading loss prevention and inventory shrink control consulting firms in the world, confides as the group announced the results from their 29th Annual Retail Theft Survey this week.

The 23 large retailers who were surveyed comprise 16,038 stores across the country with over $370 billion in sales in 2016 and they reported 438,000 incidents of shoplifting and employee theft where suspects were apprehended. A staggering $120 million was recovered by retailers from these thieves.

“The five-year trend shows a continued increase in employee theft in both apprehensions and recovery dollars.  This past year is the first decline, which was very minimal, in both shoplifting apprehensions and recovery dollars. In four of the past five years both shoplifting and employee theft apprehensions and recovery dollars have increased, and in many cases, this is with a reduced loss prevention/asset protection staff.  The losses are real and the theft problem is only getting worst,” says Doyle.


 

Theft And Fraud Can Bankrupt A Business; Contact Us For Training Seminars That Will Help You Reduce Shortage And Remain Profitable

 According to the Jack L. Hayes Annual Retail Theft Survey, released June 2016:

  • 1,170,056 shoplifters were apprehended in 2015 resulting in over $150 million recovered from apprehended shoplifters
  • 75,947 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2015 resulting in over $55 million in recoveries
  • One out of every 38 employees was apprehended for theft from their employers in 2015.

This survey was based on information from 25 large retail companies with 21,228 stores and over $700 billion in retail sales (2015). Combine this with information from the 2015 Global Retail Theft Barometer (GRTB) Report that placed shrinkage in North America at 1.27% or $36.79 billion dollars (pg. 50) and you have some scary statistical data if you are a small business owner. The 2015 GRTB also reported that shoplifting was the cause of 36% of retail shrink and dishonest employees were responsible for 45% of shortage (pg. 53). According to statisticbrain.com 37.5% of employees have stolen from their employer at least twice. The same website reports 33% of all business bankruptcies are the result of employee theft. THAT is a lot of theft! What is an employer supposed to do? If the 25 large companies surveyed by Jack L. Hayes are being impacted like this and they have access to Loss Prevention resources, how can a smaller retailer prevent this kind of theft? Is there a way for small to medium stores to address theft and fraud, reduce shrinkage and improve profitability?

     The answer to the question is yes, there is a way for small businesses to reduce shrinkage due to shoplifting and employee theft. Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. has training seminars available that will provide information on various forms of employee theft and the real impact they have on a business. The seminars don’t simply instruct on how the activity occurs but also on how it can be prevented. Additional seminars are available on shoplifting and the methods you can use to protect your merchandise and your profits. How do you detect shoplifters? Do they all act the same? Should you approach them and attempt to get your merchandise back? All of these questions will be answered by Bill Bregar, President of Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. 

     Bill’s extensive background in Law Enforcement and Loss Prevention gives him the expertise to ensure you and your staff receive solid training that can make an immediate impact on shortage reduction in your store(s). Bill’s career in investigations began when he served in the U.S. Army as a Military Policeman and in the U.S. Army Reserve as a Military Intelligence Officer. He worked for 2 years as a Police Officer for Central City Colorado. Bill has held positions of increasing responsibilities starting as a Security Manager for a grocery store chain, advancing to two different Regional Loss Prevention Manager positions, working as a Director of Loss Prevention for two different companies before becoming the President of Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. Bill’s professional competencies include being an “Expert Witness,” a Licensed Private Investigator in the State of Georgia and a Private Detective and Security Agency Training Instructor since 1998. Bill also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology, Private Security Administration & Management from Metropolitan State College, Denver, Colorado. Finally, as someone who has conducted over 2300 employee theft investigations, Bill has the proven field experience that is a testimony to his ability to speak on issues of retail theft and fraud.

        If you want your business to be successful you have to ensure you are prepared to address all areas of shrinkage, especially those areas that impact you the most, employee theft and shoplifting. Ignoring these factors or trying to manage them without the proper knowledge and training is a recipe for disaster and you may find your store(s) in that 33% that declares bankruptcy due to employee theft. Contact Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. and schedule your training seminars with one of the premier experts in the industry today.