Shoplifting and thefts by employees of retail stores increased by 29 percent during the five-year period that ended in 1987, a survey showed Friday.
Shoplifting and thefts by employees increased from 1.7 percent of sales in 1982 to 2.2 percent of sales last year, when such "retail shrinkage" represented a loss of $1.8 billion to the surveyed stores.The survey was conducted for the International Mass Retail Association by the consulting and accounting firm of Arthur Young & Co.
"Our survey shows that many of the nation's retailers have been hit hard by theft and other losses," said Alan Forman, a partner in the company's Stamford office.
Spending by stores on loss-prevention increased by 9 percent over the five-year period, the survey showed. Respondents spent $193 million, or roughly the equivalent of .0.35 percent of sales, on loss prevention last year.
Forman said women's apparel, records and tapes, and consumer electronics departments were the top targets while the least theft was reported from fine jewelry, men's apparel and shoe departments.