According to 25th Annual Retail Theft Survey by Jack L. Hayes International Wesley International, a loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm, just 23 major retailers apprehended more than 1.1 million shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2012. From these apprehensions, retailers recovered more than $189 million.

Mark R. Doyle, president of Jack L. Hayes International, commented, “In 2012, shoplifting apprehensions increased 7.4 percent and the recovery dollars from shoplifters increased an amazing 22.7 percent. Dishonest employee apprehensions and recovery dollars also increased in 2012, 5.5 percent and 7.0 percent respectively.

“It should be noted that these increases follow similar increases reported the previous year!” Doyle added, “The seriousness of retail theft is a much greater problem than many people realize. These theft losses are stealing profits from retailers and driving retail prices higher for the consumer.”

The study also found that one out of every 40 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2012. That figure is based on more than 2.8 million employees.

On a per case average, dishonest employees steal approximately 5.5 times the amount stolen by shoplifters ($715.24 Vs. $129.12). The average shoplifting case value in 2012 was $129.12, which was an increase of 14.2 percent from 2011’s average case value.

The study also noted that for every $1.00 recovered by the surveyed companies, $25.00 was lost to retail theft. Therefore, only 4.0 percent of total retail theft losses resulted in a recovery.

Participants of this study included 23 large retail companies with 18,900 stores and more than $596 billion in retail sales in 2012.

Nine of the 23 retailers (39.1 percent) had an increase in company shrink.  10 of the 23 retailers (43.5 percent) had a decrease in company shrink. Four of the 23 retailers (17.4 percent) had no change in company shrink.

These companies saw 1,145,688 shoplifters and dishonest employees apprehended in 2012, up 7.3 percent from 2011. The $189 million that was recovered from shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2012 was up 18.1 percent from 2011.

1,074,593 shoplifters were apprehended in 2012. And more than $138 million was recovered from them. An additional $46.8 million was recovered from shoplifters where no apprehension was made, up a significant 25.2 percent from 2011. This marks the 16th consecutive year that dollars recovered from shoplifters where no apprehension was made increased.

From the 71,095 dishonest employees apprehended in 2012, authorities recovered more than $50 million.

Survey participants contribute the following to increased shoplifting activity: organized retail crime (ORC) activity is growing and getting more complex, economic conditions are not getting better, reduced staff/payroll restrictions (less associates on sales floor), increased LP/AP staff productivity, overburdened criminal justice system, stronger awareness among store personnel and higher demand for store goods and store credit.

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