In spite of all the attention that credit card fraud and data breaches are getting in the retail industry, cash theft remains one of the biggest sources of retail shrink.
Retail shrink is, on average 1.27 percent of total retail sales. This adds up to a $57 billion loss to the industry according to the U.S. Retail Fraud Survey conducted by Retail Knowledge, an increase from $54 billion in 2013.
Employee theft accounts for the greatest amount of store loss at 38 percent of store-related shrink. Cash theft ranks second at 24 percent, then administration and book keeping errors at 21 percent (down 9 percent). Shoplifting is also on the decline, dropping 15 percent to comprise just 11 percent of store losses.
The biggest culprit of online loss is credit card fraud, at 59 percent, according to Chain Store Age.
And while most retailers manage store and online loss prevention separately, the investment is becoming more equitable as retailers invest more heavily in online prevention in the wake of a series of high-profile security breaches.
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