Consumer Theft Concerns Recede, Retailers Refocus on Employee Shrink, New Study Finds

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RSR Research, an analyst firm providing market intelligence on retail technology trends, announces the results of its latest research report, "Loss Prevention in a Post-Recession World," sponsored by IBM. The research finds that due to slightly more reasonable economic conditions, retailers are increasingly able to turn their focus toward more traditional, internal LP issues

With less concern over ‘bad guys doing bad things’ in stores, retailers are honing in on the ability to manage more controllable issues.

RSR Research's latest report, "Loss Prevention in a Post-Recession World" finds employee theft representing the top sources of shrink; fears surrounding theft associated with individual customers and organized crime rings stalls, yet gross margin improvements remain top of mind.

These findings are based on a survey of 74 retailers in the autumn of 2010. The report can be downloaded at http://www.retailsystemsresearch.com/_document/summary/1238. The report is sponsored by IBM.

"LP continues to be a high priority for retailers, but the panicky reactions of last year have returned to more historical reporting levels," said Paula Rosenblum Managing Partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report. "A year ago, retailers fear organized crime and the impact of their growth on the minds of criminals; this year, the top sources of shrink are all focused on employee-related activities.”

"With less concern over ‘bad guys doing bad things’ in stores, retailers are honing in on the ability to manage more controllable issues,” adds Steve Rowen, the report’s co-author. "They’re most interested in what’s going on at the POS, in the stock room, and in receiving areas. There is tremendous opportunity to use new hardware technologies to monitor store activity, but LP departments are still short-staffed; they desperately need better analytics tools to make sense of such vast data.”

"Loss Prevention in a Post-Recession World" contains analysis of the business drivers, opportunities, and organizational constraints surrounding Loss Prevention initiatives, as well as recommendations for creating successful LP capabilities. The report is part of RSR Research's ongoing efforts to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends, and can be downloaded here:

retailsystemsresearch.com/_document/summary/1238

About RSR Research:
Retail Systems Research (“RSR”) is the only research company run by retailers for the retail industry. RSR provides insight into business and technology challenges facing the extended retail industry, and thought leadership and advice on navigating these challenges for specific companies and the industry at large. RSR’s services include benchmark reports covering the state of retailer technology adoption for topics ranging from merchandising and supply chain, store operations and workforce management, to customer-facing and multi-channel technologies. Custom research reports provide more in-depth views into topics of industry interest, and advisory services help retailers and technology vendors make the most of the insights RSR provides. To learn more about RSR, visit rsrresearch.com.

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Paula Rosenblum

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