Internal vs External Theft
As a leading security company, O’Brien & Associates understands the serious impact of theft on retail businesses. According to a recent study by the National Retail Federation, retailers in the US lost a total of $50.6 billion in 2018, with over 36% of that coming from employees alone. That is a staggering number and one that every retailer should take seriously.
When it comes to retail theft, there are two types that are most common: internal and external theft. Internal, also known as employee theft, occurs when employees steal from their own company. This can include taking merchandise, stealing cash from the till, or even fraudulent refunds. External, on the other hand, occurs when someone who is not an employee steals from a store. This can include shoplifting, robbery, and even fraud.
While both types of theft can be damaging to a retail business, there are key differences between the two that retailers should be aware of. Internal can be especially difficult to detect and prevent as the perpetrator is often someone who knows the store’s security systems and procedures well. Additionally, employee shoplifting can be more damaging in terms of the trust it can erode between management and employees.
While more visible, external theft can also have a significant impact on a retailer’s bottom line. In addition to lost merchandise and profits, external shoplifting can also lead to higher insurance rates, increased security costs, and even negative publicity that can harm a store’s reputation.
Prevention Is Key
Fortunately, there are a number of steps that retailers can take to prevent both internal and external theft. O’Brien & Associates recommends implementing a strong security system that includes surveillance cameras, alarms, and access control measures. Retailers should also consider implementing training programs for employees to educate them on proper security protocols and the risks of theft. Finally, it is important to perform regular audits and inventory checks to identify any discrepancies and address them promptly.
In conclusion, theft is a major threat to retail businesses and must be taken seriously. Whether it is internal or external, retailers must take steps to prevent theft and protect their assets. O’Brien & Associates can help retailers implement effective security measures that can help prevent both types of theft and ensure that their business is protected.