Beauty Store Business

OCT 2014

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Page 35 of 83

34 October 2014 | Retailers must always be vigilant for an old risk. by Phillip M. Perry PICTURE THIS: SOMEONE RUNS INTO YOUR STORE, grabs an armful of merchandise and exits through the front door into a waiting van. The vehicle speeds off before you have a chance to see the license plate. That scenario can happen any time. It's just one of the many tricks shoplifters pull to separate retailers from their merchandise. AT RISK No one knows the exact loss figures for shoplifting, but retailers participating in the University of Florida's annual "National Retail Security Survey" estimate the crime accounts for at least one third of the $44 billion dollars in annual reported shrinkage. The 2012 survey—the latest available— estimates that another one third is due to employee theft, with the remainder coming from dishonest vendors and inventory and bookkeeping errors. The same survey reports that average retail shrinkage comes to 1.47% of annual sales. While retailers of all sizes stand to lose profits from shoplifters, smaller operators are especially at risk. "One or two clerks in a small store can be easily distracted by a shop- lifter," says Dr. Richard C. Hollinger, designer of the University of Florida survey and chair of that institution's department of sociology and criminology & law. "Often the result is that the retailer gets cleaned out and has to start over—or even close." collection

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