Project on Retail Shrinkage

Retail under Threat

Submitted By:
Clevin Carvalho K.Vamsikanth

Submitted To:
Prof. Shinu Abhi

Shalini Kumari Sudeshna Roy

Inventory Shrinkage
  A shortfall between inventory based on actual physical counts and inventory based on A term describing the loss of products from inventory due to shoplifting by customers, book records. employee theft, damaged and spoiled products that are thrown away, and errors in recording the purchase and sale of products.  A business should make a physical count and inspection of its inventory to determine this loss.


 

Retail shrinkage is the difference in the value of stock as per the books and the actual stock A survey in 118 retail chains in India, shows the shrinkage rate is 3.10.

available in the shop.

Employee Theft:

✔ ✔

Also known as “internal shrinkage”, this is caused by the employees of the store such as pilfering Employee theft and embezzlement of accounts cause almost half of the total retail shrinkage. Cashier caused shrinkage occurs in ways of wrong recording of transactions, forging receipts,

merchandise, cash, provisions etc.

misuse of the register or computer etc and accounts for almost 61 percent of the total employee caused shrinkage.95 percent of businesses experience employee theft and 75 percent of theft goes unnoticed. This problem is a hard nut to crack due to lack of visibility of the transaction

Some examples are: – – – – Writing up a cash sales slip for merchandise but destroying the ticket after the customer leaves and pocketing the cash. Recording a false cash refund and pocketing the cash. Taking merchandise without paying for it. Extending unauthorized discounts or credit card refunds for friends.


Otherwise called “commercial burglary”, this is one of the most common crimes. In slang

language it is

expressed as “five-finger discount” in Australia and US, and jacking, chaving, and nicking in UK.

✔ ✔

Studies show that one out of twelve customers might be a shoplifter. Professional shoplifters are called “boosters”. s

Shoplifting can occur at any time. Anyone can be a shoplifter; a regular customer who never intended to steal but gave in to temptation and opportunity, or a seasoned professional.

Administrative Errors:

Administrative and paperwork errors such as mark up and mark down of the prices cause around

15 percent of the retail shrinkage.

Paperwork errors can happen almost anywhere in the merchandising cycle. For

example: – – – – – Marking goods at a price lower than the retail price recorded on the receiving record. Failure to record all markdowns. Miscounting physical inventory. Clerical errors causing the book inventory to be higher than it should be. Timing is of particular importance. When comparing the actual physical inventory count to the perpetual book inventory, care must be taken to ensure that every invoice representing goods that have been received before the physical inventory count is included in the calculation of book inventory.

✔ Although shortages are normally expected, it is not logical to have counted in the physical inventory more than the book figure indicates.

Goods are stolen, but not donated to the store. Therefore, overages are due largely

to errors in record keeping, although they may be due to an employee trying to cover up the theft of merchandise. Some examples are: – – – Recording markdowns without actually reducing prices on price tickets. Overstating the physical inventory. Including in the physical inventory count merchandise that has not yet been recorded in the book inventory.

Types of Retail Loss Prevention Investigations
Embezzlement Control:

– –

Employee embezzlement is the theft or taking of property or funds The most common type of retail embezzlement is cash theft. Other types

entrusted to an employee by an employer. include ringing up fake gift cards, passing merchandise, discount fraud, and, of course, theft of merchandise. – – – – Embezzlement investigations are widely known in the loss prevention Cash theft is generally investigated using cash office audits that appear on Fake gift cards are usually investigated through the use of an electronic The passing of merchandise is usually discovered through the use of an industry as "internal investigations". exception reports and CCTV cameras. journal in which the gift cards are logged. exception report in which a particular employee is shown to have an unusual amount of voids or no-sales. Generally merchandise is rung up by an employee and subsequently voided out. The merchandise is then passed to a person at the counter, usually a friend or family member of the employee. – Other forms of employee theft that are discovered via the use of exceptions reports are discount and commission fraud. Discount fraud is the fraudulent use of an employee's discount to reduce the price of merchandise for someone else. Generally this is done by an employee passing their discount card to a friend. Commission fraud is usually accomplished by ringing large return purchases back to another employee or recent ex-employee. – Merchandise theft is often investigated though the use of CCTV cameras and investigator observations. The items stolen by employees tend to be small items which either have a high dollar value or are edible. Stockrooms have a particularly high level of employee theft and are often investigated using CCTV. Loss prevention often tours stockrooms looking for "stashes", out-of-place merchandise, and price tags. Typically, a covert CCTV camera is placed in the areas of high opportunity for theft. To reduce the amount of employee embezzlement, stores like Wal-Mart, check their employee's or venors bags and

purchases before they exit the store. Store personnel's also supervise vendors when they enter the backroom or stockroom.

Credit card theft Control:
– – Stolen credit cards find their way into retail stores as much as or more than This is usually for several reasons. Retailers have generally relaxed their online retail websites. procedures for checking credit cards, to shorten customers' time spent at the cash register. – – Also, purchasing merchandise first-hand afford a credit card thief some Most retailers are not liable for the use of stolen cards, unless they have anonymity, as opposed to providing a mailing address for an online sale. chosen to override the chip and PIN and accept a customer's signature when they could have accepted a PIN.

Check / Cheque fraud Control:
– Check fraud is generally accomplished in one of two ways. The first is by

writing a check that is manufactured to look like a real document, which in fact has no real value or no real bank account to back it up. – Typically this is done by suspects who are experienced in forgery. The second method is check kiting, in which the suspect writes a check for a high dollar purchase, then withdraws the funds from the account before the check clears. – Check kiting is usually done when suspects establish a fraudulent bank account under a false name.

Margin loss and sweet hearting Control:

– –

Retail Loss Prevention departments are becoming increasingly more Typical areas of investigation include the overriding of PLU prices, price

involved in investigating losses which affect the margin of products and services. matching from competitors, and reduction of service fees such as delivery or protection agreements. – – While unintentional margin loss is reduced by educating employees and Sweethearting generally occurs when an employee promises a deal to a managers, the term for intentional margin loss is "sweethearting." customer in order to close a sale, or otherwise reduces the price of merchandise for dishonest reasons. – Sweethearting investigations involve research into employees' finding competitor price matches to give to customers; overriding prices for their customers, friends, and themselves; and markdown of fees such as delivery and protection agreements.

Equipment, tactics, and technology
Camera systems:
✔ ✔ ✔ CCTV is an abbreviation for Closed Circuit Television. CCTV camera systems are The obvious benefits of CCTV camera is that the investigator can gain a better view of Some retailers use two-man teams in which one person uses the CCTV camera system common to almost all loss prevention departments. a suspect, record incidents, and not reveal themselves to shoplifting suspects. to detect shoplifters and a floor man follows the suspect and apprehends them.

Fake cameras:

✔ Some retailers use fake (or "dummy") cameras in parts of their store, the rational is that the fake camera will cost less, but make the shoplifter too nervous to steal anything in front of it.

Electronic Article Surveillance:
✔ ✔ Electronic article surveillance (EAS) is a deterrence system used by retailers to deter Hard tags or Sticker tags are placed on items throughout the store and are disabled at shoplifting. EAS involves the use of electronic security towers and electronic security tags. cashier by either removing the hard tag using a detacher or by scanning label tags over a magnetized strip or label deactivator. ✔ If the tag is not disabled it will activate the alarm tower, which is generally located at the exit to a retail store. EAS tags & labels are extremely effective in deterring amateur shoplifting, but most professionals require a combination of hard tags, labels, and ink tags to keep them in check.

Two-way radio sets :
✔ ✔ Almost all loss prevention departments have some form of two-way radio This technology is used by investigators to help two-man teams follow a shoplifting communication. suspect in conjunction with the CCTV camera system or to summon assistance when apprehending a shoplifter.

Point of Sale:
✔ ✔ ✔ Point of sale is a form of electronic journal that allows the loss prevention This system is either displayed on a computer screen or on a monitor linked to the This system has assisted investigators in closing employee embezzlement cases investigator to see a transaction as it is occurring live. CCTV camera system. pertaining to merchandise passing, merchandise voiding, and discount fraud.

Exception reports:

✔ ✔

Exception reports are compiled on an annual basis into a report. Usually the reports They include information on cash audit overs and shorts, no-sales, flagged returns,

are received monthly or bi-weekly. employees ringing themselves up, fake employee numbers used to avoid commission docking, excessive markdowns and/or discounts, and merchandise voids. ✔ Exception reports have dramatically reduced the amount of time an investigator needs to detect a possible sign of employee embezzlement.

Electronic journals:
✔ ✔ Almost every large retail institution has some form of electronic journal which records Information such as credit card numbers, gift card numbers, refunds, and all its transactions. merchandise voids is gathered at the point-of-sale. These journals can then be used to view and print facsimiles of receipts or checks.

Ink tags:
✔ ✔ ✔ Ink tags have been around for several decades and are most commonly used by When the tags are forcibly removed, one or two glass vials containing permanent ink Ink tags fall into the loss prevention category called benefit denial. As the name clothing retailers. Special equipment is required to remove the tags from the clothing. will break, causing it to spill over the clothing, effectively destroying it. suggests, an ink tag denies the shoplifter any benefit for his or her efforts.

Ceiling mirrors:
✔ Mirrors allow loss prevention investigators to watch activity in a high-theft area without being seen. Some loss prevention departments have been known to use mirrors to increase the range of their camera systems.

Bottom of Basket:

Bottom of Basket loss (BOB), occurs when an item is placed on the lower tray of a

shopping cart and the cashier forgets to check the lower tray for items, resulting in the item not being paid for.

Consent searches:
✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Consent searches are widely used in law enforcement and are still present in loss By asking a customer to consent to a search of their belongings, such as shopping bags Consent searches in some instances can be used to build on previously existing facts In modern retail loss prevention, consent searches are most often used by warehouse prevention today. and receipts, any illegal search or seizure requirements can be circumvented. to establish the probable cause necessary to detain a shoplifter. retailers such as Costco and Sam's Club.

Viewing towers:
✔ ✔ floor. ✔ ✔ An investigator can spend time in the tower while searching for shoplifters or Most towers are now obsolete and being eliminated in many retailers. investigating employees, much in the same manner as with CCTV. Although the necessity of viewing towers has been largely eliminated by CCTV camera A tower is usually a centrally located observation platform raised above the sales systems, they still exist today.

Integrity shops:
✔ ✔ ✔ A common example of an integrity shop is marking a large-denomination bill and The goal is to see if the bill disappears from the drawer or doesn't reach its The information gained from an integrity shop can be used to initiate investigations or placing it in a cashier's drawer. appropriate destination, such as a cash office. conduct interviews that could possibly reveal dishonest activity or outright theft.

This is also a good way to find out if an employee is attempting to embezzle.

New technologies to curtail shrinkage:
✔ ✔
RFID and other security products play an outstanding role to combat retail shrinkage and prevent They consist of tags with electronic information, and work with an instrument called readers that

shoplifters from sliding expensive products into their pockets. captures the information and pass it on to the database. There are two kinds of RFID tags.

Passive RFID tags which operate without onboard power source, and use radio wave energy to turn the microchip attached with the product.

Active tags that operate on battery power and send information through a transmitter to the database.

Shrinkage and Spencer Retail – Bangalore
RPG Enterprises, established in 1979, is one of India’s fastest growing business groups with a turnover touching Rs. 15,000 cr. The group has more than twenty companies managing diverse business interests in the areas of Power, Tyre, Transmission, IT, Retail, Entertainment, Carbon Black, and Speciality. RPG Companies in Retail Sector: ✔ Spencer's Retail ✔ Music World ✔ Books and Beyond Spencer's Retail Limited is one of India's largest and fastest growing multi-format retailer with 250 stores, including 36 large format stores across 50 cities in India. Spencer's focuses on verticals like food and grocery, fruit and vegetables, electrical and electronics, home and office essentials, garments and fashion accessories, toys, food and personal care, music and books. Established in 1996, Spencer's has become a popular destination for shoppers in India

with hypermarkets and convenient stores catering to various shopping needs of its large consumer base.

Sources of theft in Spencer:
According to the 2007 Retail Security Survey, retail operations of Spencer suffered an average annual inventory shrinkage percentage of 1.57% in 2007. According to the survey, shrink is divided into 5 categories: 46.8% from employee theft, 31.6% of shrinkage comes from shoplifting 14.4% from administrative error 3.75% from vendor error 2.86% from unknown error.

Spencer’s Strategies to Prevent Shoplifting and Employee Theft
To prevent shoplifting Spencer relies on its well-trained and alert employees who know how to spot a potential shoplifter. Employees need to watch for customers who: – – – – – – Avoid eye contact Appear nervous Wander the store without buying Leave the store and returns repeatedly Linger in a location that employees have a hard time monitoring Constantly keep an eye on store employees and other customers.

In addition to trained employees to spot shoplifters, general shoplifting-prevention techniques include: – – – – – – Staying alert at all times. Greeting all customers. Asking lingering customers if they need help. Knowing where shoplifting is most likely to occur in the location. Using a log to share suspicions about shoplifters among employees. Displaying signs that "Shoplifters will be prosecuted."

✔ When shoplifting is suspected, the employees never directly accuse anyone of stealing (call security instead). They give the person a chance to pay for the item they "forgot" to pay for by asking, "Are you ready to pay for that?" or "Can I ring you up?" ✔ The high officials make periodic (yet randomly timed) unannounced visits to each and every retail location. Spot-check inventory/drawer. During unannounced visits, the officials announce: "I'm just double-checking inventory numbers and doing a register check." They just pick a few products and check physical inventory against inventory sheets/POS inventory figures. ✔ Their back doors are closed and equipped with alarm it. This is one of the easiest ways for employees to sneak out merchandise. ✔ The management inspect the garbage before it's taken out.

The security videos are reviewed on a regular basis.

✔ They sometimes, run cash drawer reconciliation. This lets employees know management is keeping its eye on the ball. ✔ Spencer has an inventory-tracking system. It use a POS system that tracks inventory automatically or, at a minimum, use paper-based inventory-tracking sheets to send a signal to employees that inventory is indeed being monitored. ✔ They check the z-tape numbers. If yesterday's z-tape was number 24 and today's is 27, what happened to 25 and 26? This kind of questions is asked to the employees. ✔ Spencer provide all employees with training on theft-prevention, both shoplifting and employee theft. ✔ If a shoplifter is caught then sometimes they are forced to buy the items being stolen by them at a double price.

India has been rated first on the retail theft parameter in Asia-Pacific countries, said the second annual Global Retail Theft Barometer-2008 survey. The survey, conducted among 920 large retailers across 36 countries by Centre for Retail Research, has find India with the highest shrinkage rate of 3.10 per cent, an increase of 6.9 per cent over last year.

One thing for sure there is no one shrinkage solution for all retailers since every retail store is unique. Solid accounting procedures and systems must be developed specifically for your store and scrupulously followed at ALL levels. Employees must be properly trained to follow correct procedures. Management must follow up to see that procedures are being followed. In other words, good management will help reduce the temptation and conditions favorable for dishonesty and theft and reduce your shrinkage losses. Shrinkage is a variable and controllable expense. Management's attitude toward and tolerance level for shrinkage is the controlling factor.

1. Primary data about shrinkage in Spencer from Asha Nayyar(employee). 2. Secondary Data from, • •

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful