A US survey has offered an insight into how the pandemic impacted retail theft, with the number of incidents decreasing, but the value of each rising in 2020.
Meanwhile, retailers that were deemed ‘essential’ in the US experienced a moderate spike in both shoplifting and employee theft.
Although these statistics are focused on the US retail sector only, they may provide a clue to the shoplifting trends Australia encountered in a year like no other.
Here’s an insight into the Jack L Hayes International Annual Retail Theft Survey and what it found…
Fewer US shoplifting incidents and employee thefts
Covid played havoc with US retail throughout 2020, resulting in temporary shop closures in many American states.
As would be expected, that resulted in fewer incidents of both shoplifting and employee theft.
Even so, over 184,000 shoplifters and dishonest employee were apprehended in 2020 by just 22 large retailers. In total over $81 million was recovered.
The survey further found:
- shoplifting apprehensions were down 43.8 per cent and recovery dollars decreased 36.5 per cent.
- In total, 158,158 shoplifters were apprehended by the 22 major retail chains surveyed.
- Dishonest employee apprehensions decreased by 20.3 per cent and recovery dollars were down 17.2 per cent.
- In total, 26,463 dishonest employees were apprehended.
A spike in thefts for essential retail
That said, shoplifting in the retail sectors deemed ‘essential’ experienced an increase of 7.9 per cent while employee theft also rose 2.7 per cent.