Retail shrinkage is defined as a reduction or loss in inventory due to shoplifting, employee theft, paperwork errors and supplier fraud. Depending on where you’re located it is very important to gauge the risk factors in apprehending shoplifters. If you’re interested in seeing the dregs of the shoplifting community spend a little time in an establishment that sells alcohol. While most of us enjoy libations, or as my grandmother used to call it “Satan’s bath water”, recreationally there is a growing portion of our society who a tendency to overindulge. This overindulgence leads to bad decisions, a reduction in inhibitions and far too often plain old stupidity.
I am often employed by a supermarket chain that boasts great sales in its liquor departments. However, on a near daily basis I see someone stagger in off of the street on a busy day – they’ve obviously already had 1 too many. They drift awkwardly down the aisles, select a bottle and slide it down their pants or up a coat sleeve and head for the door. Others simply run in, grab two handfuls off of the closest display and head, full speed, out into the parking lot. You can obviously see how this type of activity can increase the retail shrinkage in this establishment.
As a result we’ve stationed a uniformed security officer at the entrance to the liquor departments to prevent this type of brazen theft. This, however, still hasn’t completely stopped the already intoxicated from trying their luck and attempting to slip past the guard. Furthermore, an already impaired individual tends to have a “Superman complex” and is far more likely to become belligerent or altogether violent when you attempt to apprehend them. For this reason it is important to be extra cautious when working in this type of environment. Retail shrinkage will always be a battle in any retail environment but you must always take appropriate precautions and make intelligent decisions.