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The Warsaw Voice » Business » November 26, 2008
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Retailers Count Cost of Thieves
November 26, 2008   
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Poland's retailers lost a total of 1.1 billion euros due to employee and customer theft as well as internal errors and administrative failures such as pricing, process or accounting mistakes between June last year and this past June, according to a new survey.

The figures come from the Global Retail Theft Barometer, an annual survey conducted by the Centre for Retail Research in Nottingham, Britain, and sponsored by the Checkpoint Systems company.

Retail "shrinkage," or losses to Polish retailers from theft and errors in the analyzed 12-month period, was higher than the combined figure for the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and the three Baltic states-Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. In Poland, retail theft accounted for 1.36 percent of total sales, compared with 1.38 percent in Hungary and the Czech Republic, according to the survey.

The overall level of global retail theft reached 71.2 billion euros between June 2007 and June 2008, leading to increased costs for both retailers and consumers alike, according to the survey. The Global Retail Theft Barometer found that while global retail shrinkage as a percentage of total sales has declined slightly in the past 12 months, the overall cost of retail crime has increased substantially.

Employee theft in Poland runs at a higher level than in other European countries, accounting for 36.1 percent of retailers' total losses. In Europe, only Hungary and the Baltic states reported higher figures, exceeding 38 percent. Also, Poland has a high proportion of internal errors and administrative failures, at 18.5 percent of total retailer losses. The European average is 16 percent. On the other hand, Poland has Europe's lowest proportion of customer theft, at just 39.2 percent. The European average is 46.8 percent.

This year's Global Retail Theft Barometer survey reports key findings on retail shrinkage and crime in 36 countries and on five continents.
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