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Retail Fraud, Shoplifting Rates Decrease, According to National Retail Security Survey

For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis (202) 783-7891 or grannisk@nrf.com
www.nrf.com/lp10

Contact Kathy Grannis for a copy of the preliminary report at grannisk@nrf.com

Retail Fraud, Shoplifting Rates Decrease,  According to National Retail Security Survey

Atlanta, June 15, 2010 – As severe economic pressures slowly subside, retailers are noticing the same slight movement in merchandise losses, also known as shrinkage, and other types of criminal activity in their stores. Preliminary results of the latest National Retail Security Survey, released today at the National Retail Federation’s Loss Prevention Conference and EXPO, show that retail shrinkage decreased to 1.44 percent of retail sales in 2009, down from 1.51 percent in 2008. The survey is a collaborative effort between NRF and the University of Florida.  On behalf of Dr. Richard Hollinger, Professor of Criminology, the survey's author, NRF’s senior asset protection advisor Joe LaRocca, will discuss the preliminary findings today at the conference.

According to the survey, total retail losses cost retailers $33.5 billion last year, down from $36.5 billion 2008.

“Retailers lose billions to shoplifting, internal theft and other types of criminal activity every year, so it’s encouraging to see these small successes when it comes to shrink rates,” said NRF senior asset protection advisor Joe LaRocca. “Just as the industry battles organized crime rings on a daily basis, retailers are also faced with the daunting task of protecting their merchandise from everyday criminals because they are greedy and self-serving.” 

According to the survey, the majority of retail shrinkage last year was due to employee theft, at $14.4 billion, accounting for 43 percent of total losses. Retailers lost $11.7 billion to shoplifting, which is 35 percent of total losses. Other losses included administrative error ($4.9 billion and 14.5% of shrinkage) and vendor fraud ($1.3 billion and 3.8% of shrinkage). 

About the Survey
The National Retail Security Survey is an annual survey of loss prevention executives that benchmarks retail shrinkage and operational information about how retailers are combating losses. The study, which surveyed 75 retailers in the first half of 2010 and uses data from 2009, is a partnership between the University of Florida and the National Retail Federation.

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 24 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2008 sales of $4.6 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations. www.nrf.com. 
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NRF is pleased to grant complimentary registration to editorial staff members of the press, as well as accredited retail analysts and bloggers. Click here to register online for the NRF’s 2009 Loss Prevention Conference and EXPO, or call Kathy Grannis at (202) 626-8189.