Collaboration is key in the battle against rise in retail shrinkage
The report has found that only 55% of retailers are collaborating with each other in their battle against theft and fraud despite seeing collective shrinkage reach 1% of sales. Astonishingly 22% of those asked believed collaboration on any level was unnecessary.
It also found that whilst many loss prevention and e-commerce risk professionals wanted to collaborate more with each other to reduce shrinkage, they were prevented from doing so by more senior business personnel for fear of losing a competitive edge.
Frances Riseley, Deputy Managing-Director at Martec International, who oversaw the Retail Fraud Study, commented: “It is quite surprising that despite a 10% increase in shrinkage, costing £3.4 billion, 22% of retailers felt that collaboration would not assist them in reducing losses. Of those that wanted to work together the biggest issue was that senior retail figures prevented collaboration as they were afraid of losing a competitive edge by sharing information with competitors. This is an unnecessary worry as the shared data would be things like theft patterns which will have no impact on the competitiveness of retailers, but failure to assist each other in tackling shrinkage is actually eating into their profit margins and the health of the sector.”
Retailers were asked what areas they felt they could benefit from greater collaboration and an overwhelming 23% reported that they could use greater assistance from police in tackling in-store crime. Those retailers identified criminal activity as the biggest threat to the retail sector and felt it could be better tackled with more input from police forces across the country.
Fran Riseley added: “Those retailers who are already collaborating felt quite strongly that they would continue to hit a brick wall in their battle against shrinkage unless they received improved support from police forces and this is something they are already working on attaining. With such a large percentage of retailers’ losses due to theft – retailers can only achieve so much in terms of loss prevention without the police playing its part.”
Mike Gleeson, Development and Operations Manager Business Protection for John Lewis, commented: “We participated in the Retail Fraud study and found the insight the report provides valuable, demonstrating that the retail sector would benefit from a collaborative approach in tackling the issues it faces."
The Retail Fraud Study took 600 hours to complete with Martec conducting in-depth interviews with key loss prevention and e-commerce personnel from 100 of the UK’s top retailers, including Tesco, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, HMV and Mothercare, accounting for 42% of the UK retail market with a combined £141 billion in sales
Find out why collaberation is key at the Retail Bulletin’s 3rd Retail Loss Prevention Summit 12th September 2012.The theme of the day is ‘Boosting loss prevention’s profile across the business as a key to survival tool: Driving profits through cost effective strategies in loss prevention, industry collaboration and the latest technology’.
Once again, delegates will hear from top-level speakers from Tiffany & Co • River Island • Argos • Ryman Stationery • The Co-operative Group Ltd • Alex Holland B&Q • Republic (retail) Ltd • Argos • Space NK • Chessington World of Adventures • Centre for Retail Research • General Dynamics Information Technology.
Click here for more information and registration
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