Shoplifting, Worker Theft Cost Retailers $32 Billion Last Year
A shoplifter swiping a book at Barnes & Noble or a Dollar General cashier stealing a pack of smokes might not be committing the crime of the century, but such transgressions across hundreds of thousands of stores in the U.S. add up to a $32 billion problem.
That’s about 70 percent of the inventory ‘shrinkage’ — a retail-industry term encompassing loss due to shoplifting, worker and vendor theft — retailers endured last year, according to a new study released on Wednesday by the National Retail Federation.
Shrinkage, along with administrative errors, cost U.S retailers about 1.4 percent of their 2014 sales, according to the report. That’s particularly painful at a time when retailers from Wal-Mart to Macy’s are fighting for every dollar of sales growth they can get, and countless others are dealing with thinning profit margins.