Everything you need to know about decrease in retail theft during a pandemic

The data reported post-pandemic suggested that incidents of shoplifting and employee theft have declined in 2020 but the value of each incident has increased. Whereas the research prior to that indicates that Australian retailers lose $3.37 billion annually to shoplifting and general theft within the retail premises.

Currently, we are in the most exciting moments in time, at least as far as retail security is concerned. Thanks to the constantly transitioning artificial intelligence (AI) and integrated security services, retailers can be in relief.

Here’s what the latest retail scenario is like:

Lesser incidents indicating shoplifting

With the lockdowns during the pandemic, the retail sector has reported fewer thefts. In the past year, shoplifting apprehensions were down by 43.8%.  Meanwhile, dishonest employee apprehensions decreased by 20.3%. That being said, shoplifting in the retail sector has experienced deemed rate, which can be seen as a positive light in all the chaos.

Increased Event Value

While the number of shoplifting and theft incidents has decreased, the value of such events has increased significantly. Average shoplifting has increased 13%, which makes us question the reasons behind it. There are multiple solutions to avoid this problem. MASG offers distinct problem-solving methods according to clients and their needs. We offer concrete solutions even under high pressure.

The reason behind the decrease in Shoplifting

  • Store closures resulted in fewer shoppers
  • Tough transition during the pandemic
  • Focused on better customer service
  • Fewer stores are open to steal from
  • Saw significant increase in “theft for need rather than want”
  • Legislation’s increasing felony thresholds
  • More scared shoplifters due to better technology

The reasons behind decreases in terms of Employee Theft

  • More focus on shoplifting theft
  • Improved technology/analytic tools
  • Fewer associates in-store
  • Increase in employee benefits
  • Increase in online fraud
  • Increase in discount coupons to increase sales
  • Less focus on apprehensions and more focus on pandemic issues
  • Better prevention with additional technology with CCTV cameras
  • Reduced travel by staff

MASG believes that staff that are happy and satisfied with their work environment and who see themselves as an important part of the company rather than just “employees” will be more likely to value the business and will decrease the chance of employee theft. Likewise, staff who are trained to spot and report suspicious activity can also help curtail losses.

Practised to avoid any type of theft in retail stores

Once the lockdown has lifted and Australia goes back to normal, naturally, these issues will return. To prevent them here are a few things that need to be practised to avoid any type of theft in retail stores:

  • Staff training in attentive customer service and recognizing shoplifting behaviour
  • Electronic surveillance using security tags, and labels to guard individual items against theft
  • Retail Security CCTV systems to deter, identify, and catch thieves on site
  • Good store lighting and design to minimize out of sight areas that might cover theft
  • Lockable displays and cabinets that safeguard high-value products and items
  • Recruiting fitting room security guard service
  • Secured countertop
  • Digital analytics to identify fraud transactions like gift card fraud, under-ringing, and false returns
  • Attain customer loyalty with increased employment benefits
  • Improved loss detection

Our Take

In spite of the growing popularity of online retail, traditional retail stores still hold over 93% of sales shares in Australia. And in 2015, a study from the Global Retail Theft Barometer claimed that the Australian retail industry loses an estimated around AUD 2.7 billion due to theft and fraud. These losses are caused due to nothing else but issues with inadequate security. While losses can never be 100% prevented, they can surely be minimized. And to minimize these losses due to issues of inadequate security, identifying common mistakes in retail business security we believe can be very helpful.

In this day and age, the view is shifting from “security as a cost” to “creating value from security”. Which is a superior way of looking at this problem. This means that security should not be viewed just as an aspect of the business but also as a crucial resource that needs to invest in. Because it must be viewed as an integral part of the entire business venture.

MA Services Group understands that Retail Security is not as simple as one may think. In order to effectively deter crimes and prevent losses that affect businesses in this world pandemic times, you and your security service provider need to pay attention to details and make sure you don’t commit the same mistakes. We observe, learn and implement solutions according to previous experiences and mistakes to serve you better.