To make matters worse, staff
typically steal more than customers and
you're much less likely to recoup the
stolen goods or cash. According to 1999
figures from the Centre for Retail
Research (CRR), when a shoplifter is
stopped they have an average of £45 on
them, while the average amount a member
of staff steals is a whopping £498.
"The big difference with shoplifters
is that 95% of the time you actually get
the goods or the property back. With
staff theft you only get an average of
£35 back," explains Professor Joshua
Barnfield, a firector at the CRR.
And it's your profit that's walking
out of the door, not turnover. If
somebody is taking £10 a day on a
turnover of £1,000 that's only 1% and
you might think you can live with that.
But if you're pulling in 6% profit (£60)
on that £1,000, then thiefs are taking
one sixth of your profits. These losses
need to be seen as a percentage of net
profit not of gross turnover.
Of course it's not just retail stores
that are at risk, any business that
deals largely in cash transactions could
fall victim to staff theft.
So what can you do about it?
Professor Barnfield advises business
people to be realistic: "You're never
going to get rid of the problem, all you
can do is weigh the scales a bit more in
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