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    ‘Theft by employees rapidly growing in distribution centres’

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    Employees, working in distribution centres (DCs), distribution and stores, account for 40 per cent of value of theft, a recent report has stated.

    According to a report released by Thruvision Group plc along with Retail Economics on Monday (13), retailers forecast that theft will cost them £7.9bn this year. Shoppers account for 60 per cent of the value of the theft (£4.7bn) while employees, working in distribution centres (DCs), distribution and stores, account for 40 per cent (£3.2bn).

    Theft in DCs is the employee crime that is under-reported by retailers with some 42.6 per cent (£1.4bn) of the total employee theft from DCs, states the report.

    Around two thirds of retailers interviewed believe that over the past decade the opportunity for crime in DCs has accelerated. Among those that have seen an increase in employee theft over the past year, 70 per cent state they have seen an increase in organised crime in DCs.

    Colin Evans, Chief Executive, commented, “That employee theft is a rapidly growing problem is not a surprise, but the scale of financial losses suffered by UK retailers in their distribution centres really is. What is even more surprising is that so few retailers seem to be prepared to deal with this very serious problem when proven technology solutions exist – only one in six retailers are investing in detection and deterrence technology to solve Distribution Centre theft.

    “Our fast, effective and employee-friendly security technology is used to check quickly many thousands of loyal and hard-working staff every day in DCs across the UK, and is proven to deter criminals, petty and organised, from stealing from their employers.

    “Many well-known high-street retailers have demonstrated how our technology has a return on investment of six months or less.”

    Richard Lim, CEO of Retail Economics, says, “Retail crime adds to a backdrop of rising operating costs that have squeezed profitability in recent years. A startling 40 per cent of theft stems from a minority of retail employees. The nature of theft becoming more organised demands a widespread and holistic approach incorporating deterrence, detection, and industry-wide collaboration.

    “Proactive measures not only curb the impact of theft, but also cultivate a safer environment, attracting talent and fortifying the industry. Striking a balance between fairness among honest employees and deterrence is now pivotal as structural shifts leaves retailers vulnerable to disconnected workforce and supply chain complexity.”

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