People who shoplift for a living can make as much as $1000 a day.
- They are rarely caught, and are professional groups, mainly man/woman teams.
- They operate in all areas of New Zealand, in all manner of stores, and steal all types of merchandise.
The most common method of shoplifting, is the diversionary tactic, where one partner creates a distraction while the other is stealing in another part of the store. Professionals cannot risk being caught, thus they will generally target those stores without merchandise protection, and avoid those stores with E.A.S or (Electronic Article Surveillance) systems installed.
Says Mr Ray Harness of Checkpoint Security Systems Ltd, an Auckland company, specialising in Anti – Shoplifting systems, who adds. The problem is growing very fast.
To relate the loss of merchandise to the cost of the article is very misleading .. as an example:
Cost of Theft
Stolen 1 x Greeting card @ $3.50 (retail)
Average greeting card (shop profitability)
= 8% of retail sales
Sales necessary to offset the above loss
= $22.00 retail.
Sales of products = $22.00
Gross margin (50%) = $11.00
Payroll (14%) = $3.08
Store expenses (28%) = $6.16
Profit (8%) = $1.76 cents
Say $10,000 per year, or over a period.
(Average specialty store profitability = 8% of retail sales)
Therefore sales necessary to offset loss = $62,500
Unfortunately for the retailer, the interpretation of the law in today’s courts makes apprehension of shoplifters very difficult. Retailers are warned never to accuse a person of stealing, or to call a person a thief or shoplifter. Such accusations may be the basis for a lawsuit against the retailer.
The best way to confront a possible shoplifter is to use non-accusatory statements which politely offer service whilst alerting the customer/thief that you know what he/she intends. Statements such as “would you like to charge that item, or will you be paying cash” work very well. The primary objective is deterrence and prevention, also good staff training goes a long way to minimize problems.
Shoplifting throughout New Zealand is well into the Million Dollars a day plus industry, shrinkage is a controllable factor that eats into the profits of all retailers every day. Providing the retailer with the right equipment to combat this increasing problem is the job of our industry, says Harness, and the latest electronics are keeping pace with this problem. He adds even a 1% reduction in shrinkage can repay the outlay in a very short time.
Most retailers are embarrassed to divulge their loss figures, and some are hesitant to even prosecute offenders, also many are even unaware of the extent of their losses, he adds. “If we could only provide more reliable statistics which can prove how much we could assist even the small shop retailers in improving their bottom line, we would be quite possibly talking to people who would be begging us to do so.”
Call Checkpoint Security Systems Ltd for further information which may assist you with staff training, or for a no obligation quotation, and consultation to discuss your particular problems,
at 0800 321 100.
We offer a national sales and service supported be agents and service personnel.