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    Survey: Shoplifting Increases as Economy Worsens

    According to the most recent National Retail Security Survey, retail shrinkage averaged 1.52 percent in 2008, an increase from 1.44 percent in 2007, and total retail losses grew to $36.5 billion.

    According to the most recent National Retail Security Survey, retail shrinkage averaged 1.52 percent in 2008, an increase from 1.44 percent in 2007, and total retail losses grew to $36.5 billion.

    The survey said that employee theft accounted for $15.9 billion (44 percent) of the losses and that 14 percent of those cases involved collusion. Shoplifting claimed $12.7 billion (35 percent) of retail shrinkage. Administrative error ($5.4 billion and 15 percent of shrinkage) and vendor fraud ($1.4 billion and 4 percent of shrinkage) also explained decreases in retail sales.

    “The increase in shrink levels signifies that criminals have found a way to manipulate and corrupt the retail industry,” said Dr. Richard Hollinger, criminology professor at the University of Florida. “Many retailers are being forced to decrease their current expenditures because of the state of the economy and the cutback in consumer spending, which leaves new opportunities for thieves to take advantage of companies.”

    According to the Washington-based National Retail Federation’s (NRF) recent organized retail crime survey, which was released on June 10, 92 percent of retailers were victims of organized retail crime (ORC) in 2008, and 73 percent said the problem was growing. The National Retail Security Survey is a collaboration between the University of Florida and NRF.

    Source: Display & Design Ideas

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