Is there a shoplifting epidemic in the United States in 2023. What is the economic impact to the retailer and consumer?

Is there a shoplifting epidemic in the United States in 2023. What is the economic impact to the retailer and consumer?

As of my last update in September 2021, I don’t have enough new data on any shoplifting epidemic in the United States. However, shoplifting and retail theft continue to be an escalating issue for retailers, causing economic impacts on both the retail industry and consumers. Let’s discuss the potential effects and implications of shoplifting on the retailer and the consumer.

Economic Impact on Retailers:
a. Loss of Revenue: Shoplifting leads to direct financial losses for retailers as stolen merchandise cannot be sold, resulting in a decrease in revenue.
b. Increased Security Costs: To combat shoplifting, retailers need to invest in security measures such as surveillance systems, security personnel, and anti-theft technology such as a Sensormatic System. These added expenses can strain a retailer’s budget.
c. Higher Insurance Premiums: Frequent theft incidents can lead to higher insurance premiums for retailers, adding further financial burden.
d. Cost of Restocking: Replacing stolen items can be costly for retailers, especially if the thefts are frequent or involve high-value goods.
e. Impact on Small Businesses: For small retailers, shoplifting can be particularly devastating, potentially leading to closures or financial instability. Smaller Retailers suffer the most because they cannot spread out the losses. In most cases prevention techniques such as employee training, Sensormatic Systems, and CCTV are critical to the small to medium size Retailer.

Impact on Consumers:
a. Price Increase: To offset losses from theft and increased security measures, retailers may raise prices on their products, which ultimately affects consumers by increasing the cost of goods.
b. Reduced Product Selection: In extreme cases, retailers may discontinue certain products if they are frequently targeted by shoplifters, limiting choices for consumers.
c. Impact on Retail Experience: Shoplifting can lead to more stringent security measures, such as increased bag checks or restrictions on browsing, affecting the overall shopping experience for consumers. Application of an Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) system such as a Sensormatic System protect the Retailer without impacting their customer.
d. Loss of Trust: Consumers might lose trust in a retailer if shoplifting incidents are not effectively managed, leading to a negative perception of the brand.

Societal Impact:
a. Increased Crime Rates: Shoplifting can contribute to overall crime rates, affecting the safety and security of communities.
b. Legal and Law Enforcement Costs: Dealing with shoplifting cases can be burdensome for law enforcement agencies and add to the already-strained legal system.
c. Diversion of Resources: The diversion of law enforcement resources to address shoplifting may impact their ability to tackle more serious crimes.

It’s important to note that the situation may have evolved since my last update, and more recent data would be necessary to determine if there is a current shoplifting epidemic in the United States. Addressing shoplifting requires a comprehensive approach involving retailers, law enforcement, and communities working together to minimize its impact and ensure a safer retail environment for everyone.

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What types of shoplifters are there and when are shoplifters most likely to try to steal from a Retailer?

What types of shoplifters are there and when are shoplifters most likely to try to steal from a Retailer?

Shoplifting is a common form of theft that occurs in retail settings, and it’s essential for retailers to understand the different types of shoplifters and the factors that influence when they are most likely to attempt stealing. Shoplifters can be classified into several categories based on their motivations and behaviors. Let’s explore the different types of shoplifters and the times when they are more likely to target retailers:

  1. Amateur Shoplifters: These are individuals who engage in shoplifting impulsively and without much planning. They might steal small items or goods that they personally desire. Amateur shoplifters are often inexperienced and easily deterred. They are more likely to strike during busy shopping periods when there is less attention on individual customers.
  2. Professional Shoplifters: Unlike amateurs, professional shoplifters are well-organized and experienced in stealing merchandise. They often operate in groups and may use distractions or shoplifting tools to evade detection. Professional shoplifters tend to target high-value items that can be easily resold for profit. They might strike during busy periods when store staff is preoccupied and security is spread thin.
  3. Opportunistic Shoplifters: This group includes individuals who spot an easy opportunity to steal, often due to negligence or lack of proper security measures. Opportunistic shoplifters may not have a history of theft but seize the chance when they notice vulnerabilities in the store’s surveillance or employee awareness.
  4. Employee “Shoplifters”: These shoplifters are retail staff members who steal from their own workplace. Employee theft can be particularly damaging as insiders have better knowledge of store operations and security. They may try to conceal their actions by manipulating inventory records or tampering with security systems. Employee shoplifting can happen at any time when they feel they can go undetected.
  5. Addictive Shoplifters: Some individuals shoplift due to underlying psychological issues, such as kleptomania or substance addiction. These shoplifters may not necessarily have a motive to use or sell the stolen items; instead, the act of stealing itself serves as a coping mechanism for their emotional struggles. Addictive shoplifters may strike at any time, and they might be more prone to stealing during stressful periods in their lives.
  6. Flash Mob Shoplifters: In recent years, there have been instances of organized groups, often referred to as “flash mobs,” participating in coordinated shoplifting activities. These groups assemble quickly, overwhelm store personnel, and steal a large quantity of items before dispersing rapidly. Flash mob shoplifting can be challenging to predict, but it often occurs during periods of mass gatherings or events.
    When are shoplifters most likely to try to steal from a retailer?
  7. Peak Shopping Seasons: Shoplifting incidents tend to increase during peak shopping seasons like holidays (e.g., Christmas, Thanksgiving) when stores are crowded, and staff is busier than usual.
  8. Weekends and Evenings: Shoplifting attempts are more common on weekends and during evening hours when stores are generally busier, and surveillance may be less stringent.
  9. During Sales and Promotions: Shoplifters might take advantage of sales events and promotions when discounts attract more customers, making it easier for them to blend in.
  10. Store Opening and Closing Times: Shoplifters might target stores during opening or closing hours when employees are occupied with setting up or shutting down, and security may be lax.
  11. Understaffed or Overwhelmed Stores: Shoplifters are more likely to strike when stores are understaffed or during busy periods when employees are overwhelmed, making it easier to go unnoticed.
  12. During Distractions: Major in-store events, demonstrations, or entertainment might serve as distractions, enabling shoplifters to take advantage of reduced vigilance.
    It’s important to note that retailers can take preventive measures to deter shoplifters, such as investing in a Sensormatic System, training staff to identify suspicious behaviors (Loss Prevention Systems does this for you free of charge when you purchase a system), and maintaining good visibility throughout the store. Understanding the different types of shoplifters and their tendencies can assist retailers in developing effective strategies to combat theft and minimize losses.
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With Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) what are the advantages for a Retailer of Acousto Magnetic (AM) over Radio Frequency (RF). Sensormatic manufactures both.

With Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) what are the advantages for a Retailer of Acousto Magnetic (AM) over Radio Frequency (RF). Sensormatic manufactures both.

Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) systems are used by retailers to prevent theft and reduce shoplifting. Acousto Magnetic (AM) and Radio Frequency (RF) are two common technologies used in EAS systems. Sensormatic Systems manufacture both AM and RF systems. Each technology has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice depends on the retailer’s specific needs and preferences. Here are some advantages of Acousto Magnetic (AM) over Radio Frequency (RF) for retailers:

Detection range: AM systems generally offer a longer detection range compared to RF systems. This means that AM technology can cover a wider exit/entrance area, making it suitable for larger store layouts or stores with wide exits.

False alarm reduction: AM systems are known for having fewer false alarms compared to RF systems. RF systems can sometimes trigger false alarms due to interference from other electronic devices, which can be a nuisance for both store staff and customers.

Resistance to interference: AM technology is less susceptible to interference from metallic objects, such as shopping carts or metallic store fixtures. In RF systems, these metallic objects may sometimes cause false alarms or affect the overall performance.

Tag orientation: AM systems have a more flexible tag orientation, meaning that the security tags can be placed on the products with more freedom in positioning. RF systems often require specific tag orientations for optimal detection.

Performance in challenging environments: AM technology tends to perform better in challenging retail environments, such as those with a high amount of metal or electromagnetic interference.

Deactivation performance: Deactivating AM tags at the point of sale is usually faster and more reliable than deactivating RF tags. This can lead to smoother and quicker checkout experiences for customers.

Availability of labels and tags: AM security labels and tags may be more readily available and offered by a wider range of suppliers compared to RF tags, which could potentially lead to cost savings for retailers. Loss Prevention Systems carries the full range of both AM and RF tags and labels by Sensormatic.

It’s important to note that both AM and RF EAS systems have their strengths and weaknesses, and the choice between the two will depend on the specific requirements of the retailer and the store environment. Loss prevention Systems will help you decide which technology is best for you and your budget. Some retailers may even opt for hybrid EAS systems that combine both AM and RF technologies to leverage the advantages of each. Ultimately, retailers should consider their store layout, product types, budget, and desired level of security when selecting an EAS system.

Contact Loss Prevention Systems today. You can also visit our website.

Is shoplifting becoming more violent in the US? How can retailers counter the potential violence in their stores?

Is shoplifting becoming more violent in the US? How can retailers counter the potential violence in their stores?

Shoplifting incidents can vary in nature and severity, and trends can differ across regions and time periods. While some instances of shoplifting may involve violence, it is important to approach the topic with caution and not generalize based on isolated incidents. Shoplifting-related violence is not necessarily a widespread phenomenon, but retailers should still take precautions to ensure the safety of their employees and customers. Here are some potential strategies retailers can consider:

Employee training: Retailers can provide comprehensive training to their employees on how to handle potentially difficult situations, including shoplifting incidents. This training can include de-escalation techniques, conflict resolution skills, and when to involve security or law enforcement. Loss Prevention Systems provides this LIVE training in person or on-line.

Visible store presence: Maintaining a visible presence of staff and security personnel in the store can act as a deterrent to potential shoplifters. When individuals perceive a higher risk of being caught, they may be less likely to engage in shoplifting or violence.

Effective store layout and surveillance: Retailers can design their stores with clear sightlines and unobstructed views to minimize blind spots. Installing surveillance cameras strategically can help deter theft and provide evidence if incidents occur. However, keep in mind that CCTV is more “after the fact”. There is some deterrence value however, there are better methods for prevention.

Collaboration with law enforcement: Establishing strong relationships with local law enforcement agencies can be beneficial. Retailers can work together with the police to share information, report incidents promptly, and coordinate efforts to prevent and address shoplifting incidents. You should set up an in person meeting with a member of your local law enforcement agency. Have them give you input about your stores vulnerabilities, how they respond and what other measures they can provide such as more frequent marked patrol car drive byes, walking patrol…. You should make it clear that they are always welcome in your store and encourage them to stop by. A cup of coffee, bottle of water…. sends the right message. Most law enforcement agencies have “Zone” type meetings, crime prevention meetings… You should join and go every time. This will keep you up to date on crime in your specific area.

Technology-based solutions: Retailers can explore the use of advanced security technologies, such as electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems like a Sensormatic System, RFID tagging, video analytics, and inventory management systems. These technologies can help detect theft attempts, track inventory, and improve overall store security. Again, Loss Prevention Systems has all of these technologies and we sell, install and service nationwide.

Safety protocols and emergency planning: Retailers should develop and communicate clear safety protocols to their employees in case of emergencies or violent situations. This may involve creating evacuation plans, implementing panic buttons on your burglar alarm system. These panic buttons should be installed in places that employees can retreat to in the event of an emergency. Having them at the POS is fine but, the back office, stock rooms are better. Train your staff on how to respond appropriately in different scenarios.

It’s important for retailers to conduct a thorough risk assessment based on their specific store locations, customer demographics, and historical incidents to determine the most appropriate security measures to implement. Consulting with a Loss Prevention Expert or industry associations can provide valuable insights tailored to the retail environment.

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Discourage Shoplifters!

Discourage Shoplifters!

Shoplifting can has a significant impact on small to medium-sized retailers. Not only does it lead to loss of profits, but it can also be dangerous for employees and customers if confrontations arise. Therefore, it is crucial for retailers to take steps to DISCOURAGE shoplifting and protect their business. One effective way to do this is by implementing a Sensormatic system.

A Sensormatic system is a type of electronic article surveillance (EAS) system that uses tags or labels attached to merchandise and detection devices placed at store exits to alert store personnel when a product is being stolen. Here are some ways a Sensormatic system can discourage shoplifters:

Visible deterrent: The presence of Sensormatic systems, including antennas and tags, can act as a visible deterrent to shoplifters. Knowing that a store is actively taking measures to prevent shoplifting can make it less appealing for potential thieves to target the store.

Sensormatic system: When a shoplifter attempts to leave the store with a tagged item, the Sensormatic system will trigger an alarm. This can alert employees and security personnel to the theft, allowing them to intervene quickly and prevent the shoplifter from leaving the store undetected.

Monitoring: Sensormatic systems can also be linked to Artificial Intelligence (AI) security cameras, allowing for continuous monitoring of the store. This can help identify potential shoplifters and provide evidence in the event of theft. Sensormatic AI is on the cutting edge and is very affordable to even the smallest retailer.

Additional monitoring: Sensormatic systems can provide real-time alerts to Retailers smart devices such as a cell phone. We also can keep track of customer counts by hour of the day, day of the week. This allows you to put Associates on the floor where and when they are needed!

In addition to implementing a Sensormatic system, there are several other steps that small to medium-sized retailers can take to discourage shoplifting:

Employee training: Train employees on how to identify and prevent shoplifting. Provide them with clear guidelines on how to approach and handle suspected shoplifters. We provide this live training to our customers as often as you need it, free of charge!

Customer service: Providing excellent customer service can help deter shoplifters. When employees are attentive and friendly, it creates a less anonymous and more engaging atmosphere for customers, making them less likely to attempt to steal. Loss Prevention Systems teaches a method that allows your Associates to identify, frustrate and subsequently run off the shoplifter while providing excellent customer service to you good customers.

Store layout: Design the store layout in a way that allows for clear visibility and easy monitoring of all areas. Avoid creating blind spots or areas that are difficult to see from the cash register or other high-traffic areas.

Display merchandise carefully: Display expensive or high-risk items in locked cases or behind the cash register. This will make it more difficult for shoplifters to access these items without attracting attention.

Yes, shoplifting can have a significant impact on small to medium-sized retailers, but there are steps that can be taken to discourage shoplifting and protect the business. You are not in this alone. Loss Prevention Systems can help you to minimize your shoplifting problem. As a part of an overall plan implementing a Sensormatic system is an effective way to prevent shoplifting, while employee training, customer service, store layout, and careful merchandise display can also help deter potential thieves.

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