Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Retail Theft Skyrockets – Greenshoots, Meet Reality…

This is one of those “events” that tends to follow economic events such as collapses of credit. I have been predicting this as a symptom for several years.

We’ve now created a vicious cycle, do you see it? Bigger government spending money they don’t have becomes a bankrupt government... yet, they take from the people to give to the central bankers. Then those who fall by the wayside turn to crime to make ends meet, not to mention that they now have lawless role models. More crime means more government spending on police, prisons, and “national defense.” That again leads to more government debt and the cycle has begun…
Survey: Retail theft skyrockets

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle)

Twenty-two major retailers lost more than $6 billion to shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2008, according to a new survey.

On the upside, a record 904,226 thieves were apprehended, up 7.26 percent from 2007. Of them, 832,106 were shoplifters and 72,120 were dishonest employees, according to the 21st Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International, a loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm based in Wesley Chapel, Fla.

That breaks down to one in every 30 employees being apprehended for theft from their employer in 2008, based on more than 2.1 million employees.

The survey found more than $182 million was recovered, up 21.64 percent from the previous year. More than $113 million was recovered from shoplifters, while $69.8 million was recovered from employees.

“With the downturn in the economy, we have seen an increase in theft, which is having a detrimental impact on retailers’ bottom-line profits,” said Mark R. Doyle, president of Jack L. Hayes International, in a news release. “These theft losses drive consumer prices higher and can force unprofitable stores to close.”

The average theft in 2008 was $202.28, up from $178.37 a year earlier.

The 22 retail companies participating in the survey had 19,151 stores and more than $570 billion in retail sales as of 2008.

Oh yeah, the “upside” is that more thieves were apprehended, and I presume, more were jailed (except in the states like California where they are being forced to release prisoners because they can’t afford to keep them jailed anymore).

The amount of recovered money was up nearly 22%, that’s quite a jump. We are slowly (quickly?) degenerating into the wild west again. No rule of law, end of empire sky high conviction rates by the government, it’s a one way circle of decaying morals, more debt, decaying morals, and still more debt. The circle will go unbroken until the rule of law at the top is restored.