Retailers continue efforts to avoid stock losses – The Daily Gazette

As a buyer, sometimes it’s hard not to get mad at a company, even when you understand the root of your irritation.

Take for example locked printer ink at the big box store, or face cream or cold medicine at the pharmacy, or the (fill in the blank with your own experience).

To purchase these items, you must press a call button or find a worker to open the box containing the product – and often follow them to a register for immediate cashing.

But here’s the back story, as reported last week by the National Retail Federation’s 2022 National Retail Security Survey.

‘Retraction’, or the loss of inventory due to internal or external theft, missing documents or other snafus, accounted for $94.5 billion in lost sales last year, up from $90.8 billion in 2020. For the average retailer, the shrinkage rate was 1.44%, according to the survey, on par with the rate of 1.5% over five years.

External theft, which includes shoplifting by individuals and organized groups, accounted for the largest chunk of shrinkage at 37% according to the survey.

Employee/internal theft was second at 28.5%.

The survey, conducted annually, was conducted this year in partnership with the Loss Prevention Research Council, according to the National Retail Federation, which has provided a closer look at the impact of what is known as “crime organized in the retail trade”.

This often means groups quickly hitting a store or stores, as was seen in chilling fashion last fall during smash and grab incidents by masked marauders at high-end retailers Nordstrom and Louis Vuitton. It can also involve less flashy robberies performed by local fencing operations that send homeless people, drug addicts or people with mental health issues to do the robbery, according to loss prevention experts.

Retailers in the 2022 survey reported an average increase of 26.5% in organized crime-related incidents in retail last year, with many worrying about the violence and aggression that accompanies them.

Targeted items are known as CRAVED: Concealable, Removable, Available, Valuable, Enjoyable, and Disposable. This includes health and beauty products, accessories, food and beverages, clothing, footwear, home furnishings, household items, office supplies, baby care and toys.

The survey also noted an unexpected impact of COVID-19, as labor shortages and turnover leave retailers with insufficient staff “to provide informal guardianship, i.e. simply deter retail offenses with their presence”.

Where does that leave us as buyers? Press call buttons or report a store associate.

In the spring, Forbes, under the headline “You Can’t Imagine It: Stores Are Locking Everything Down,” quoted the CEO of a security device maker as saying that putting merchandise in locked displays can hurt sales because buyers forgo the hassle.

On the bright side, however, the article mentioned new technology that may soon allow us to unlock cases ourselves – if we’re willing to hand over personal information or have our faces scanned to gain access, that is -say.

Marlene Kennedy is a freelance columnist. The opinions expressed in his column are his own and not necessarily those of the newspaper. Join her at [email protected]

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Categories: Business