However, the UK can learn from the US in terms of loss prevention, despite the fact that the US lost over $30bn in 2002 to employee theft (according to information from the National Retail Security Survey). Nevertheless, the US model shows that 70% of store stock loss is preventable. 

So, how can the British retail sector improve its performance on shrinkage? Concentrate on proactive prevention. Evaluate and measure the problem and that will show the areas of the business suffering most. 

Attacking shrinkage must become a part of a retail organisation's culture. It is vital that there are strong links between the heads of finance, store operation and IT to ensure that tackling shrinkage is a priority. 

It is also vital that store managers understand the need for action. Promoting a sense of employee pride and service excellence will play a significant role in reducing shrinkage. Corporate profitability can ­ and should ­ go hand in hand with retail excellence.