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Launched at Retail Risk – London, part of the world’s largest risk and loss prevention conference series, the UK Retail Fraud Survey 2016 – sponsored by WIS International - has found that UK retailers lost £2.34 Billion to shrinkage in just 12 months.

What’s more employee theft was identified as the single biggest cause, with 68% of retailers citing it as their top area of loss.

Published by Retail Knowledge and sponsored for the second consecutive year by WIS International, one of the leading global inventory and data collection services companies, the Survey is the most extensive report into the systems, processes and strategies of the UK’s top retailers available. The Survey covers retail transactions accounting for some 32% of all UK retail sales online and offline through 34,950 stores across the UK.

Shrinkage rates vary by retail sector from mass merchants and department stores at 2.68% of sales to a low of 0.25% of sales for hospitality and leisure retailers. However, mass merchants and department stores have seen a massive increase in shrinkage rates since last year of 58% whereas hospitality and leisure retailers have seen a decrease of 38%.

Paul Bessant of Retail Knowledge comments: “Over the past few years the retail landscape, with the advent of omni-channel retail, has changed beyond all recognition, and with it, so has Loss Prevention. The nature of threats with which the LP department is now expected to deal has changed too…"

Paul continues: “With this redrawing of the lines of risk comes increased responsibilities for those who traditionally confined themselves to a narrower LP function, as well as greater opportunity to support and contribute to the business. The signs are that these new approaches are working well, as you will see by this year’s shrink figure and the Survey on the whole. However, it is also clear that there is no room for complacency.”

Steve Simmonds of WIS International, the UK Retail Fraud Survey sponsor, underlined the value of the Survey, saying: “I know from my conversations with retailers that the value placed on this information is very high. The survey provides a unique insight into what issues are emerging in the world of retail risk and loss prevention and allows retailers to both benchmark their own performances as well as prioritise areas where others are already being challenged and they may well be too. It also allows those who supply solutions to the risk and loss prevention market to better understand where challenges are being posed, and to help produce solutions most relevant to a constantly evolving market place."


Notes to Editors

Retail Knowledge, who commissioned the Survey, are owners of the Retail Risk conference series. It is the largest risk and loss prevention conference series in the world promoting best practice and leadership in risk and loss prevention across five continents.

The Retail Risk shows are the definitive events for all aspects of physical and technological fraud prevention within the retail and online environment. Building on the increasing success of their events in London, Leicester and Dublin, Retail Risk conferences have now also been launched in Cape Town, Dubai, Oslo, Amsterdam, New York, Dallas, Singapore and Melbourne with further shows being added in the near future, making it the largest retail fraud and loss prevention conference series in the world.

Survey Sponsors:
WIS International is one of the leading global inventory and data collection services companies. Using their internally developed software, patented hardware and skilled workforce they provide physical inventory counting, merchandising and space optimisation services to the majority of leading retailers worldwide. WIS International maintains an industry reputation for many first-ever, proprietary technology innovations including the integrated, single-handed inventory count terminal.

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