Do tough times lead to increased employee pilferage?
Shoplifting and employee pilferage seems to be rising at many retail chains, and experts are pointing at a prime cause: the sputtering economy.
Shoplifting, employee or supplier fraud, organized retail crime and administrative errors cost the retail industry $119 billion in 2011 or 1.45% of sales.
This global shrink rate is 6.6% worldwide higher than the previous year, according to the Global Retail Theft Barometer, and represents the highest percentage recorded by the survey since it began in 2007.
Since direct theft makes up roughly 80% of shrink, retailers need to step up their vigilance, warns John Fice, COO of LP Innovations, the largest loss prevention solution provider in the United States.
Their solution: Institute a whistleblower hotline.
Overwhelmingly, honest employees want to come forward with knowledge of fraud or business abuse, but there are definitely barriers involved.
That's why a successful whistleblower hotline should be staffed with live operators who are trained in interviewing callers, says LP's Keven Griggs.
In addition, these operators must be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because callers, fearing retaliation, aren't likely to call the line while at work, during normal business hours.
What would you do? If someone was stealing, would you intervene or blow the whistle on them?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 6, 2022 1:37:16 PM
It already happened to me before but I did not like what was going on. I did a little investigating myself and in order to find out how many people were "in" on it whether it also involved higher ups and how high up the ladder it reached. I did not directly tell on them by calling anyone but I did let it be known by speaking to someone who probably did the "ratting" on everyone else. It turned out three supervisors were involved, the assistant director of the security company, even some store managers or asst. managers of some shoe athletic store, and possibly the director of security who if I am not sure how he was getting his cut but I believe someone from the supervisory team would slip an envelope of cash under his door for him to pick up which is probably a 10% per month. It was really dangerous for me to reveal this because I did not know who else was involved whether even cops or how many there were. In the end after the police intervened and property management, they arrested and convicted 13 security officers, terminated an asst. director of security, another two security officer and a supervisor of security but they had no real evidence for the director but I do believe that he was all part of this set-up plan. I think he knew this was going on and he was getting an envelope under the door about $1000 dollars a month. It's easy to spot the crooks too, they did not do any overtime work, had lots of money, also always had new clothes and shoes. One security supervisor also bragged about his handgun collection which I doubt he even had the license for. I got out of the industry later on after getting a real job in I.T. The people you least suspect are actually the crooks you need to watch out for. These guys did not even look like criminals. Clean cut, boyish looks, and all or most of them had gone to college for law and security.
Posted by: Senior Bezanson | Jan 9, 2022 8:17:27 AM
I agree that the hightest percent of money ie; or itams of value $$$ from companys,Stores,etc, are from Mangers,bosses,supervisors,and the Med ;% is shop-lifters, then, the smaller % is employes, mistakes , stock & infatory mistakes not properly recorded....EVERY-ONE has to be held accountable ....one time the company would'nt believe the employee when he said the boss was nipping in the cookie - jar....the employe got fired ??? ...and if an employee speeks up today will he or she be protected from his or her job....the fier of speeking up sometimes is ifffeeee????.....from 30 + yrs of seeing it....thanks,,,
Posted by: Maximillion | Jan 9, 2022 4:51:46 PM
When I was in college, and working retail, employee stealing used to happen all the time. For example, there is one sports retailer in Toronto, Sporting Life, they would have staff selling $25,000 ski suits and wouldn't pay their staff a commission on the sale. Or when you work at some high-end retailers and they are selling tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise on some crappy hourly salary you get fed up of always having decide is it lunch for the week or pay my phone bill? Meanwhile you watch customers come in, select a few grand worth of merchandise, slap down an AMEX Gold or Black card and walk out of store like it was nothing.
But I also believe employee stealing has to do a lot with the way employees are treated. There are many retailers who treat their employees like cattle and others who treat their staff like gold. You never hear of the small "mom and pop" shop complain of their long-time employees stealing because of the way they treat their staff. However with the bigger retailers, the only way they know who you are as an employee is if you serve a celebrity or are caught stealing. As long as you make your sales numbers, they don't really care who you are as you are expenditble.
I'm not saying employee theft is right however after working in retail for a few years off and on, I won't say it's wrong either. I'll leave you with this example, I know of a retailer who had this dynamite employee. She was amazing and could sell rice to China. She was up for a promotion for Assistant Manager which would have meant a big raise and good start for her and her daughter. When we found out that she was screwed over for the promotion by another woman all because she was closer to the big boss's daughter, she was devestated. The entire staff new she didn't get the job because she didn't suck up enough. That's when she started stealing and selling the clothes to make extra money. We all knew she was doing it but no one was going to rat her out. It was sort of the Robin Hood syndrome. She stole and sold enough clothes over four years to put herself through part-time college and got a better job.
She was later hired back by the same retailer years later as a district manager and the woman who screwed her out of her promotion was now the store manager. The first thing she did...was fire her! As I said, I don't agree with stealing in general but sometimes it's the only way to get ahead and frankly I think a lot of retailers do it to themselves as many treat their employees like crap!