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SaracenSoldier

Americans Shoplift $1.8 Billion Worth Of Goods

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Americans have shoplifted an outrageous USD 1.8 billion worth of goods during the four weeks leading up to Christmas, a 6 percent increase from 2010.

 

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That seems to be in line with global averages. According to the Global Retail Theft Barometer (the website sourcing the information you mention), global shoplifting is up 6.6%. Of the 43 countries surveyed, India, Russia, and Morocco were the worst, and Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were the best.

 

Here are some of the other figures:

 

North America losses: 1.58% of sales a 6.0% increase

Latin America losses: 1.67% of sales, a 4.4% increase

Middle East/Africa losses: 1.71% of sales, a 5.6% increase

Asia-Pacific losses: 1.22% of sales, a 0.8% increase

Europe losses: 1.45% of sales, a 7.8% increase

 

Total global losses by the surveyed retails in the 43 countries was over $119 billion.

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Seems about right, shoplifting would increase during a recession/depression as well.

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It is also important to realize that this number breaks down into different categories. According to the Fox article, about 36% is customer shoplifting (both spontaneous and organized crime), 44% is employee theft, and the remainder (about 20%) is vendor theft and administrative error. The employee theft seems to be a more important factor in the North American market than in Europe and other parts of the world, where customer theft is the largest part of the pie (a reversal of the North American numbers for customer and employee theft).

 

Finally, it should be asked if the company putting out the survey has their own reasons for putting out these numbers. The survey is sponsored by a manufacturer of electronic anti-theft devices and systems. Here is a quote from their about page:

It has carried out a range of studies dealing with the costs of crime and the application of electronic and computerized systems to combat shop theft and fraud in many parts of the world.

 

The Global Retail Theft Barometer has been written by Professor Joshua Bamfield, Director of the Centre. Professor Bamfield has researched retail crime issues since the mid-1980s and has written extensively on this topic. The Global Retail Theft Barometer is sponsored by Checkpoint Systems. Checkpoint Systems, founded in 1969, is the world’s leading supplier of labeling and shrink management solutions to the global retail industry.

It is in their financial interest to find the problem as large as possible and to show that the sort of systems Checkpoint Systems markets to be effective deterrents, something the study also shows.

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