Internal theft from employees is a constant concern for retailers, and even with prevention programs in place. Do you know how much employee theft occurs in the United States? At Product Protection Solutions (PPS), we know knowledge is power. So we’ve gathered some of the latest employee theft statistics and included tips on protecting your business from it. 

Defining Employee Theft

Before you read the employee theft statistics, we need to define what is considered an employee-related crime. This type of theft is broken down into four categories (source:

  • Manipulating company records to hide the theft 
  • Directing the theft of merchandise or cash
  • Using their employee role to assist thieves in stealing 
  • Stealing company information to sell to others or use it themselves 

Employee Theft Statistics from 2020

Here are several employee theft statistics; comparisons to previous years are bolded. These statistics are from the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2021 National Retail Security Survey, and the page containing the information from the report is in parenthesis. 

  • A dishonest employee case cost retailers $1,551.66 in 2020, compared to 2016, when it was $1,922.80 per case (page 9)
  • An average of 361.6 employee apprehensions occurred in 2020 (page 8)
  • An average of 527.3 employee terminations occurred in 2020 (page 8)
  • An average of 83 employee prosecutions occurred in 2020, this is the lowest number in the last five years (page 8)
  • 50% of survey respondents reported an average of $1,000 loss for each employee theft (page 9)

The Results

While employee theft is challenging, the NRF’s recent survey shows that 2020 apprehensions and prosecutions of employees are much lower compared to 2015. Hopefully, these numbers will continue to trend downward in the next five years. 

Unfortunately, retailers who reported a loss of at least $1,000 has gone up significantly within the last five years. In 2020, 50% of retailers reported an average $1,000 loss, whereas, in 2015, only 33.9% reported an average of $1,000. Although you could assume that the higher total losses are a result of increased production costs in the last five years. 

Tips on Preventing Employee Theft in Your Business 

Now that you better understand how employee-related crime impacts retailers, here are tips to help prevent internal theft in your business.

  • Maintain proper bookkeeping 
    • Make sure management signs off on purchases, payroll, and reimbursements 
  • Regularly track inventory 
    • Look out for increased damage to products
    • Watch for a sudden drop in sales of a particular item 
  • Managers or owners should regularly work alongside employees 
  • Install security cameras around checkouts and high-valued areas
  • Implement an anonymous reporting system for staff to report theft concerns 
  • Maintain a strict hiring process
    • Use the screening tools during the interview process, including background checks

Retail Shoplifting Statistics for 2020

Employee theft isn’t the only concern for retailers; shoplifting is also a major contributor to loss. If you’re interested in learning more about shoplifting and what you can do to prevent it, then check out our article on Retail Shoplifting Statistics in the United States.

Discover How PPS Can Help You to Reduce Loss

At PPS, we are a leading provider of retail loss prevention solutions. Our team works with retailers daily to secure their merchandise from theft while maintaining a positive customer shopping experience. We provide everything from 360-degree protection to customized solutions for your current situation. 

Contact us to learn how we can make a difference in your business! 

Call 866-750-5744

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