One of the many services GSG Protective Services provides is loss prevention for retail businesses. We go incognito in plain clothes and help identify shoplifters and other criminal activity within stores. Shoplifting is a major problem for retailers across the country, and it doesn’t just affect their bottom lines; it overburdens the police, costs consumers more for the same goods, and costs communities dollars in lost tax sales. Here are some of the shocking statistics behind shoplifting and loss prevention.

The Profile of a Shoplifter

You might think that juveniles would be the most likely culprits to pilfer items from stores. According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (or NASP), it’s true that 55 percent of adult shoplifters started in their teens. But only 25 percent of shoplifters are kids, leaving 75 percent adults. On any given year, there are 27 million shoplifters in the United States (about 1 in 11 people), with more than ten million of these shoplifters being caught in the last five years. It gets worse unfortunately: shoplifters are caught an average of only once in every 48 times they steal, and only half of those caught are turned over to police. That makes for a lot of repeat offenders, especially when 57 percent of adults and 33 percent of juveniles who get caught say it’s hard for them to quit even after they’ve been caught. Drug addicts who become addicted to shoplifting say its just as addictive as the drugs.

Consequences of Theft

According to the National Retail Federation, in total, inventory shrink cost the US retail industry $48.9 billion in 2017, with 36.5 percent of shrink coming from external sources (i.e. shoplifting). The cost average for a shoplifting incident in 2015 was $377 and has only increased since then.

At the same time, however, in the same survey by the NRF, it was shown that grocery stores allocate only 0.36 percent to reducing shrinkage. If you’re truly looking to reduce shrinkage in your retail space from sources both in and out, consider using the services of GSG Protective Services. As an outside source, we can give your business a fresh set of eyes when it comes to protecting your inventory and assets. It’s worth every penny; contact us today.