Shoplifting: A Sign of Economic Recovery

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According to a recent NRF survey, shoplifting also known as “five finger discount” or shrinkage is on the rise. The retail value of lost merchandise is cost retailers $37 billion in 2010, up from $33.5 billion in 2009. Typically, an increase in shoplifting is an indicator of tough economic times but the recent spike in stealing could very well mean the economy is on the upswing.

When the economy was at its lowest point, many employees were concerned about job security. “They were so worried about their future, their families and paying the mortgage, they realized that their jobs are keeping their family afloat,” said Richard Hollinger, a criminology professor at the University of Florida and author of theshoplifting.ju_.top_-1security survey. They were less likely to shoplift and take the risk of loosing their jobs.

However, as our economy begins to recover, shoplifting begins to rise. According to Jim Angel, associate professor of finance at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, “…many employees feel more secure in their positions, and are more inclined to take risks.” Employees may be more tempted to shoplift if they feel the company can afford it and they are only being paid minimum wage.

Unfortunately, shoplifting and employee theft is something that every retailer faces. Preventing employee theft is a constant challenge for retailers. Loss prevention systems are often used to reduce the opportunity and motivation of employee theft. To read more about the rise of shoplifting please visit

Shoplifting  NRF

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