Shoplifting definitely isn't what it used to be. With more and more technology making an appearance in the retail industry, retail theft and fraud aren't happening in high numbers as it has in the past. Technology such as store security cameras and even placing anti-theft tags on the merchandise are working to deter this kind of crime in retail establishments.
Today, we will see how these technology trends in retail have changed the world of shoplifting and decide if it really is for the better.
According to Bill Hallan, the CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association, "The National Association for Shoplifting estimates over a half-million incidents of shoplifting occur each day." However, technology has been working as a deterrent in many cases.
Self-checkout stations are being placed in more and more retail establishments as a way of getting the customers in and out faster and in a more convenient way. However, it is also a new challenge that retailers face when it comes to protecting themselves against shoplifting.
Instead of saving on labor costs in many cases, they lose because their shrinkage begins to add up as more and more people take items that they don't actually scan at the self-checkout. With these self-checkout stations, you also find far fewer employees around, which also lends to creating a golden opportunity for shoplifters.
Many criminals have begun to sell stolen goods online. One of the biggest trends in recent years is when someone takes stolen items back to the store to then exchange them for money or a gift card. This is causing retailers to set stricter return policies instead of being as lenient as they once were. Overall, approximately 8 percent of returns will prove to be fraudulent. Losses from return fraud also rose 35 percent and totaled approximately $27 billion between 2018 and 2019.
The Educated Shoplifter
With technology like the internet, more and more shoplifters can now go online and Google top pro tips of the trade to help them get away with shoplifting undetected. This isn't something we have back in the day when criminals only had their street smarts to get them by.
All they have to do is search for the latest techniques to help thwart current security solutions in their targeted retail store, and they can then go grab what they want and then take it home to illegally sell the items online.
Organized Retail Crime
Again, we have to talk about online selling. It is one of the easiest ways for a criminal to make money off the goods they are stealing from retailers. A study conducted by the National Retail Federation found that organized retail crime affects more than 92 percent of retailers. This kind of crime is described as "large-scale theft of retail merchandise with the intent to resell the merchandise for financial gain."
With shoplifting evolving alongside technology, we need to be more vigilant about the security efforts we use in business. For more information on how to properly secure your business and deter shoplifters and other criminals, then contact Supercircuits for more information today.