According to a survey released on Tuesday by the National Retail Federation, retail crime, violence, and theft caused $112 billion in losses for retailers last year.
The annual survey is conducted by retail loss prevention professionals who analyze data about industry risks, threats, and vulnerabilities.
The NRF reports, “This year’s study found that the average shrink rate in FY 2022 increased to 1.6%, up from 1.4% in FY 2021. When taken as a percentage of total retail sales in 2022, that shrink represents $112.1 billion in losses.”
This number represents a significant increase from $93.9 billion in losses the year before.
“Retailers are seeing unprecedented levels of theft coupled with rampant crime in their stores, and the situation is only becoming more dire,” David Johnston, NRF’s vice president for asset protection and retail operations, said in a statement.
Retail crime has been skyrocketing, particularly in liberal-run cities, where the theft penalties have been reduced to almost nothing.
The Seattle Times reports, “the trade group collected insights from 177 retail brands across 28 different retail sectors — including apparel, jewelry, grocery, and department stores — and accounted for more than 97,000 retail locations and $1.6 trillion in annual retail sales.”
“Many retailers who participated in the survey said they had increased spending on loss prevention in 2022. Forty-six percent said they increased the use of third-party security personnel in their stores, and 34% said they ‘increased payroll to support their risk efforts,'” the report continued.
Additionally, 53 percent of retailers said that they have increased, or are increasing, workplace violence training to lower the risk for employees during theft or crime.
An 88 percent majority of retailers said shoplifters were “somewhat more or much more aggressive and violent compared with one year ago.”
“Far beyond the financial impact of these crimes, the violence and concerns over safety continue to be the priority for all retailers, regardless of size or category,” Johnston said.
The survey also found that 45 percent of retailers reduced their operating hours, 30 percent reduced or altered their in-store product selection, and 28 percent said they were forced to close a store location.