To counter real and 'virtual' theft, retailers have spent millions of pounds on electronic detection, but for systems to be effective requires a company-wide, top down 'zero-tolerance' of shrink, which for many retailers represents a cultural shift.
Internal theft is the only area of shrink continuing to rise year-on-year so investment must be accompanied by the accurate measurement and mapping of loss if this trend - and those responsible - are to be arrested.
At ORIS we argue that 'growth is the new shrink' - it only happens when the haemorrhaging of stock and trust are stemmed. Once this strategy has been agreed, you must apply robust policies and procedures that spread awareness of the consequences of dishonesty, irrespective of the position of the perpetrator. Trust has been breached and that £5 theft could have been £5 every day for 20 years. Offenders should be vigorously prosecuted and pursued for civil recovery - sending the message that there is no hiding place for dishonesty.
Data analytics alone are not enough and other solutions must be implemented including effective search policies, appropriate use of overt and covert CCTV, confidential whistle-blowing processes and robust pre-employment vetting of permanent and temporary staff.
By taking employee theft seriously and by acting professionally and consistently retailers can provide the criminal justice system and the civil courts with oven ready cases to roast.