ShopLifting + In-store Theft – Is India at No 1 spot ?

Did you know that India occupies the top slot in Organized Retail shrinkage – Shoplifting and In-store theft. According to Data released by Checkpoint Systems Inc, a whopping 3.09% of retail merchandise is lost by theft. Mexican retailers follow India by loss of 1.68% of their merchandise.

Checkpoint has surveyed in various stores across different formats throughout India and the results indicate that Indian retailers don’t seem to take this theft seriously. Shoplifting is maximum in the food and grocery segment and with slowing economy this could rise.

However, retailers do not agree with Checkpoint Systems’ survey. Spencers’ retail said that shrinkage was around 1.5% in their stores and it was mostly because of errors in bookkeeping and logistics handling.

MedPlus a lading Pharmacy retailer said that they face less than 1% shrinkage as all of its medicines are behind closed counters and employees are the only ones to be blamed for the loss.

One cannot expect shoplifting or in-store theft in stores like Viveks where the merchandise is big in volume and heavy to be taken without getting noticed.

How much shrinkage is acceptable and will not affect the bottom line ? Any retail managers reading this post can enlighten us.

Update on 11/11/2009:
India continues to be at the top of Retail Theft Chart in the World. Retail Shrinkage now stands at 3.2%. Shoplifting of small and expensive items in electronics, jewellery, cosmetics and clothing are the most sought after categories. Employees also resort to such practices and they account for 20% of the total shrinkage.

We should also blame the management for having lousy IT Systems and Processes as 22.6% of shrinkage occur from tush errors.