Did you know that 16.7% of U.S. retailers noticed an increase in theft in retail stores since the COVID-19 pandemic (source)? After realizing theft is a growing concern for retailers across all industries, learning what causes it and what you can do to combat it will help protect your bottom line. 

2020 Retail Shoplifting Statistics

If you’re not part of the 43.1% of companies, a 17% increase from 2019, allocating staff resources to address shrinkage, you might want to reconsider (source). At Product Protection Solutions (PPS), we’ve collected retail shoplifting statistics that address U.S. theft in retail stores. The results were surprising; read more about our findings here.

What is Loss Prevention? 

Many retailers will use loss prevention resources and tools to decrease retail shrinkage while preserving profits. Learn more about loss prevention in retail.

What Causes Theft in Retail Stores?

After learning how prevalent theft is in retail stores in the U.S., there are two ways to prevent theft. 

  1. Learn what causes theft so you can decrease its occurrence.
  2. Become proactive and implement loss prevention tools and strategies that address the concern before it occurs.

Here are some situations that can increase theft in a store. 

  • Lack of visual security measures
    • EAS system 
    • Mirrors
    • Anti-theft signage
    • Security devices
  • Inaccurate inventory data 
  • Shoplifter “friendly” store layouts 
    • Cluttered aisles 
    • Blind spots in aisles 
    • Large product displays that block staff from seeing an aisle 
    • Lack of employees around the store to greet and assist customers 
  • No loss prevention policies or training in place 
  • Not monitoring monthly theft trends 
  • Inconsistent loss prevention measures
    • Occasionally using security devices
    • Not regularly monitoring inventory numbers 
    • Unaware of high shrink products (backed by data)
    • Not reviewing the balance sheets and accounting processes regularly

3 Effective Ways to Combat Theft in Retail Stores

There are many loss prevention strategies available that can assist you with preventing theft before it occurs. Your options range from cost-effective tools, internal changes, and taking advantage of the latest technologies available.

Product Protection Devices

Loss prevention products are security devices that can work with an EAS system, or you can use them without one. Several options are available depending on the type of merchandise you want to protect. When you purchase from the PPS Keepsafe™ Series, your devices will include several advantages. 

  • Openly display products without “locking them up”
  • Feature an advanced magnetic lock protection 
  • Support your existing planograms
  • Reusable for many years (some retailers have reported using them for 10+ years)

Security devices include:

  • Quad wraps for boxed items, cleaning products 
  • Beverage protection for bottled drinks, energy drinks, wines, liquors, ice cream pints, health and beauty containers 
  • Safers for beauty products, razors cartridges, electronics  
  • Hard tags for clothing, accessories, luggage 

Loss Prevention Internal Policies 

Policies and procedures are a cost-effective option of using resources you already have – your staff. 

  • During employee training, educate them on loss prevention 
  • Determine and monitor high shrink items, including products:
    • With unexplained low inventory
    • Are easy to conceal 
    • Commonly found on shoplifters
  • Maintain clean and organized aisles 
    • Address any blinds spots where cameras, mirrors, or staff can’t monitor 
  • Use cost and retail accounting practices will allow you to catch administrative errors and shrinkage quickly 

RFID Technology 

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology uses radio waves to transmit data about specific items. Unlike barcodes, RFID doesn’t require a line of sight or physical contact with a system to send data. When you implement an EAS security system that uses RFID technology, you can combine it with RFID loss prevention products for a stronger defense. 

Benefits of EAS systems with RFID devices include:

  • Provides item-level inventory visibility on the sales floor
  • Removes stock inaccuracy
  • Increases process efficiency
  • Offers real-time data and analytics

For more information on how RFID strengthens loss prevention success, read here

Are You Ready to Prevent Theft in Your Store? 

Then take the next step towards prevention with PPS! We are a leading loss prevention company where our commitment to you extends beyond the sale. Our team’s goal is to understand your loss prevention needs and how we can support you.

Contact us to learn how our creative and inventive solutions can help prevent theft in your store.