In 2002 a combination of employee theft, shoplifting, vendor fraud, and administrative error, cost United States retailers over $31 billion according to the latest National Retail Security Survey report on retail theft, which analyzed theft incidents from 118 of the largest U.S. retail chains. Retailers lost 1.7 percent of their total annual sales to inventory shrinkage. Shoplifting accounts for about $13 billion of the loss. Employee theft is so costly (about $18 billion annually) that 30-40% of businesses fail each year due to thieving workers. Some experts say that in an average retail business, 20 - 40% of employees will always steal if given the opportunity. Another 40% of employees will consider stealing if the opportunity and temptation is too great. It’s your responsibility as an employer to remove temptation and to protect your assets from your employees and shoplifters alike.
If you are a retail business owner who has experienced theft of inventory or cash, you may be wise to consider enlisting the services of an ICS private investigator. ICS experts will assist you in detecting when and where your loss is occurring, and can help you recover lost goods and assets. Most importantly, we have consultants which will implement measures to protect your business from future loss due to theft. Here are some strategies a security expert might employ to help you theft-proof your business.
These audits are conducted to discover what products are disappearing from shelves and stockrooms, and then follow the chain of custody for these items to find out how and when they vanish.
Internal Theft Deterrent Programs—Deterrent programs involve marking or tagging all merchandise to prevent thieves from leaving undetected with stolen goods.
Store detectives are hired along with regular sales staff to monitor both employee and customer behavior covertly.
Tests are now available to administer to existing employees and potential new hires to discover their propensity for honesty, integrity, and ability to resist temptation. (also known as vMystery Shopping)
Covert Camera Installations
Even the best video camera will miss criminal activity if the thief knows where the camera is aimed. Covert camera installations conceal cameras so that neither employees nor shoppers know where they are located.
An alarm system to prevent break-ins when your establishment is closed is essential to keeping your premises safe from burglars and off-duty employees.
Don’t hire another employer’s problems. Conduct comprehensive background checks on all potential employees during the hiring process, and on current employees that you suspect might be stealing from you.
Investigation of loss should be the first step, but loss prevent can only happen by designing a security layout for your location. A ICS security expert can help you assess which of these approaches is right for your retail establishment, and prevent you from wasting money on redundant or ineffective measures to protect your business from loss due to theft.
Contact an ICS private investigator today for a free consultation, and together you can select the best means for protecting your livelihood from employee theft, vendor fraud, and shoplifters.
IF YOU ARE A RECENT VICTIM, ACTING DECISVILY WILL REDUCE FUTURE LOSSES.