Research shows the large extent of crime against small Australian retail businesses has patterns of victimisation, which vary among different types of retailers.
- More than 30% of businesses had experienced at least one incident of burglary, while around 20% experienced shoplifting and vandalism. Victimisation against general stores, service stations and pharmacies was relatively high, but liquor outlets suffered the most damage and losses from all the segments.
- Our own research, after examining the results of many “in-depth security audits”, has revealed an alarming number of businesses are not covered against the most simplistic break ins, that previous installation companies have installed systems for the lowest price with little regard for the full protection of the client.
- We almost always find areas where would-be robbers could enter without being detected, leaving business owners in a state of false belief that they are protected when in fact they are not.
Shrinkage and profit erosion
Retail crime is slashing shop profits according to two of the largest studies ever conducted in Australia. Some of the facts that have come out of the surveys make for very concerning reading:
- Shrinkage from small retailers is nearly one third higher than from the large retailers.
- One survey found that average shrinkage of 1.6% results in an average loss of profits of 17.8% while another survey stated that without the retail crimes suffered by retailers last year, their overall profits would have been 25% higher.
- Over 97% of shrinkage is undetected by retailers at the time of the crime or subsequently.
- For every theft that is detected, over 46 thefts go undetected.
- Almost 80% of theft is attributable to customers or staff, with customers accounting for the largest amount. This is also coupled with the fact that staff theft represents a much higher value per incident than thefts committed by customers.
- Shrinkage is rising dramatically, with some estimates that shrinkage has doubled since 1986.