By: William Tyree January 15, 2019

In 2019, retail crime remains one of the most serious problems facing superstores, retail chains and grocery stores. How big of a problem is it? Inventory shrinkage costs the U.S. retail industry over $45 billion each year. Internal theft, shoplifting, fraud and organized retail crime (ORC) can have a crippling effect on profit margins. In fact, almost all retailers have been impacted by ORC. But more importantly, retail crime puts shoppers and employees in danger. That’s why it’s so important to have a forward-looking strategy for preventing retail crime.

In order to help give you a broad view of what’s at stake, we scoured the web for research that provides insight into the scope of retail crime, as well as the steps that companies are taking to prevent crime from occurring. The following 33 stats offer a state-of-the-industry view of loss prevention, workplace violence, organized retail crime, internal shrinkage and more for 2019.

Organized Retail Crime Statistics

  • Organized Retail Crime (ORC) costs the retail industry approximately $30 billion each year. (Source: NRF)
  • 91.6% of companies surveyed ORC in the last 12 months. (Source:NRF)
  • 71.3% of retailers surveyed reported an increase in ORC year-over-year. (Source:NRF)
  •  Only a little more than half (54.7%) of retailers surveyed believe that top management understands the “complexity and severity” of the ORC issue (Source: NRF Survey)
  • More than half (55.2%) responded that none of their LP employees have ORC as their primary job responsibility. (Source:NRF)
  • Robberies and burglaries are up 8.6% since 2016 (Source: D&D Daily)
  • Reported value of ORC cases in 2016 exceeded $200 million. (Source: LPRC)

Loss Prevention Statistics

  • Inventory shrink cost the US retail industry $46.8 billion. (Source: NRF Survey)
  • The average shrink rate is 1.33% (Source: NRF Survey)
  • The average costs of return fraud was $1,766.27, with a median of $171. (Source: NRF Survey)
  • 41% of retailers surveyed reported increases in overall inventory shrink. (Source: NRF Survey)
  • The average cost per shoplifting incident doubled to $559. (Source: NRF Survey)
  • 29.3% surveyed said they were allocating new resources to technology, while only 17.3% said they were hiring additional staff dedicated to combatting ORC (Source: NRF Survey)
  • 36.5% of shrink is external, due to shoplifting and ORC, outpacing shrink caused by employee theft, vendor fraud and administrative errors. (Source: NRF Survey)
  • US grocery stores allocate only 0.36% of sales to reducing shrinkage. (Source: NRF Retail Study)

Shoplifting Statistics

  • 58% of self-checkout shoplifters defined stealing from a self-checkout machine as easy. (Source: LPRC)
  • 44% of shoplifters interviewed said that if an employee paid attention to them while they were committing theft, it would deter them. (Source: LPRC)
  • 44% of the offenders we interviewed said that they had engaged in violence during a theft attempt. (Source: LPRC)
  • 60 percent of known shoplifters were detected entering at least two separate locations of the same retail chain (FaceFirst study)
  • 20 percent of known shoplifters visited three or more locations of the same retail chain (FaceFirst study)

Workplace Violence Statistics

  • 424 violent deaths in retail locations in 2017. (Source: D&D Daily)
  • 2018 saw a 12% increase in violent deaths over 2017. (Source: D&D Daily)
  • Wednesday is the most violent and deadly days in retail. (Source: D&D Daily)
  • Criminal acts in retail stores were up 11% in 2018 over 2017 (Source: D&D Daily)
  • 40% of retail deaths happen in the store itself while 53% occur outside the store (Source: D&D Daily)
  • 32% of workplace fatalities occurred while working in a retail store. (Source: National Center for Victims of Crime)
  • 56% of government employee workplace violence is against law enforcement and security employees. (Source: National Center for Victims of Crime)
  • 26.3% of workplace homicide victims work in sales/retail. (Source: National Center for Victims of Crime)

Solution Statistics for Face Recognition in Retail

Using biometric surveillance technology is one of the most effective ways to deter retail criminals. Here are some of our stats revealing the power of face recognition software for retail:

  • 91% decrease in workplace-related injuries from violent assault by retailers using face recognition.
  • 34% decrease in shoplifting reported by retailers using face recognition.
  • 1000-2000: the number of faces an average human can remember.
  • 75 million: the number of images FaceFirst can query in 1/10 of a second.
  • Less than one in four people (24%) believe the government should strictly limit face recognition if it’s used to prevent shoplifting (Source: Center for Data Innovation)

Face recognition technology can help you stop retail crime before it starts. Check out some of the ways that facial recognition system can help you become a loss prevention leader, stop ORC and prevent workplace violence. You can also download a wealth of face recognition resources and case studies here