Shoplifting Increases As Holidays Loom Ahead
Shoplifting is always a concern for retailers, but the holiday season is prime time for thieves to step up their activity. Joseph LaRocca, spokesperson for National Retail Federation, reports an increase in thefts in October and November of this year and expects the trend to continue. Shoppers are beginning their shopping earlier, and so are shoplifters.
From $33.5 billion in stolen goods in 2009 to $35.2 billion nationwide last year, the trend spirals upward. A surprising note is that it’s not just kids stealing a pair of jeans on impulse. It’s shoplifting by professionals, organized to steal and then sell the stolen goods at a profit in such places as flea markets, pawn shops and online outlets.
Targeting specific stores for a single event, these organized rings often make off with several hundred dollars’ worth of goods per episode, often focusing on unexpected items such as baby formula, painkillers, razors and other items with high re-sale value. The crime is made easier because thieves perceive safety in numbers. The holiday season brings in many more people, and more distractions for salespeople and security personnel are created.
More stringent punishments for perpetrators are being signed into law in many locations to deal with the issue, along with partnerships with law enforcement, uniformed guards, sophisticated surveillance systems, store cameras, and bright lighting in parking lots. Sharing of information through public-private partnerships with major stores is helping to solve many crimes.
Keeping informed is your first line of defense. At CCS, we strive to stay abreast of retail issues that affect your business. We’re here to help answer your questions. Call us at 800-672-4806 or email us.