Between the months of October and January, retail stores see the largest volume of traffic for the entire year. The holiday gift-giving season has a lot to do with this. And while people are buying a lot of items, they're also making many returns and exchanges.
While these months are heavy in sales, the holiday chaos also increases the number of losses. During this time, shoplifting also rises. Most retailers have a form of video security system to catch shoplifters, but the reality is that one of the biggest problems in business losses occur from behind the counter.
Employee theft costs employers between $20 billion and $40 billion every year and retail employees are the biggest culprits -- especially those in the United States.
Dishonest employees are responsible for 28% of inventory losses worldwide, while shoplifters account for 39%. In the U.S., however, 43% of revenue is lost by employee theft.
Rather than pocketing items, employees are much more subtle when it comes to stealing from their employers. While some employees do take cash from the register or make off with an item from the shelves, they're usually far more interested in handing out discounts.
At check out, an associate has the ability to modify prices, give discounts, or even void transactions into the register.
In many cases, they apply these discounts to items that they are buying for themselves, but they are also giving these discounts to friends, family, or other coworkers.
In this way, the losses are much harder to pinpoint. While the inventory may match up in the system, it is possible that so many discounts have been applied that the daily sales are much lower than what they would have been.
While many employers often wonder how this happens so frequently, the real question is why.
Many employers fail to conduct proper pre-employment screening, choose to give employees more freedom and less supervision in the storefront, as well as use point of sale systems that allow transactions to be easily manipulated.
Closed-circuit television systems, or CCTV, are security solutions that allow employers to view store activity in real-time, as well as access prior footage, and view the footage from anywhere. By supervising employees remotely, you are able to observe any dishonorable conduct.
Additionally, having CCTV in your store deters employees from theft. When they know that they're being watched, they are less likely to steal or give unmarked discounts.
If you have a problem with shoplifting or employee theft, consider contacting ARG Communications for a quote on CCTV and other security solutions.