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May 12, 2023

Large retailers dealing with increasing shrink

Most large US retailers (81%) had an increase in shrink in 2022, reflected in their total apprehension and recovery statistics, says the ‘35th Annual Retail Theft Survey’ by Jack L. Hayes International, a loss prevention/shrinkage control consulting business. Total apprehensions increased 45.6% and total recovery dollars from these apprehensions increased 70.5% in 2022. Recovery dollars where no shoplifter apprehension was made, but merchandise was recovered, increased 44.1%, Many retailers returned to making shoplifter apprehensions post pandemic and focused more of their attention on external theft issues during the year. However, employee theft also increased, with an 18% increase in dishonest employee apprehensions and a 14.7% increase in recovery dollars. For the past several years, loss prevention professionals have rated shoplifting as their number one shrink issue. Reasons cited for the increase in shoplifting include increased organized retail crime (ORC) activity; raised felony threshold levels in legislation; more ‘hit-n-run’/fleeing shoplifters; and less staff on sales floor creating more opportunities for shoplifters. Hayes International surveyed 26 large US retail companies with 22,182 stores and over $700 billion in retail sales in 2022. 

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