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Retail shrink tops $50 bn; cyber threats priority: US NRF

12
Jun '19
Retail shrink tops $50 bn; cyber threats priority: US NRF
Theft, fraud and losses from other retail ‘shrink’ totalled $50.6 billion in 2018, up from $46.8 billion the year before as US industry security executives said there is a growing overlap between loss prevention and cyber security efforts, says the annual National Retail Security Survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the University of Florida.

“We are seeing dramatic changes in the risks faced by retailers, and loss prevention practices and priorities are evolving to meet those challenges,” NRF vice president for loss prevention Bob Moraca said.

“As criminals find new ways to steal, loss prevention teams are finding new ways to stop them. Increasingly, this is a battle focused on technology,” he said.

According to the report, shrink averaged 1.38 per cent of sales during 2018, up slightly from 1.33 per cent in 2017, but has held steady around 1.4 per cent over the past few years. With the percentage largely unchanged, the increase in the dollar amount is due primarily to growth in retail sales.

The largest losses per incident came from robberies at an average $2,885.15 (down from $4,237.02 in 2017), followed by employee theft at $1,264.10 (up from $1,203.16), and shoplifting/organised retail crime at $546.67 (up from $543.28).

Robberies are comparatively rare, however, while shoplifting/ORC and employee theft together typically account for about two-thirds of shrink each year, with most of the remainder coming from vendor or paperwork errors.

While 43 per cent of those surveyed said the largest increase in fraud is occurring in stores, 30 per cent said it is happening online and 22 per cent said it is coming in multi-channel sales, such as those where the purchase is made online but the merchandise is picked up in stores.

Cyber-related incidents are at the top among challenges, according to 68 per cent of respondents, while 65 per cent pointed to e-commerce crimes and another 51 per cent cited return fraud, including incidents involving purchases made online but picked up in stores.

A total of 89 per cent said there is increasing overlap between retail loss prevention teams and cyber security teams.

The survey of 63 loss prevention and asset protection executives from a variety of retail sectors was conducted February 27 through March 29. The study is a partnership between Hollinger and NRF and is sponsored by Appriss Retail. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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