BOCA RATON, Fla. Retailers lost more than $33 billion to theft last year according to a recent annual survey conducted by the University of Florida with a funding grant from ADT Security Services.
According to the survey, however, preliminary results show a slight decrease in the rate of theft as a percent of sales from 1.51% or $36.5 billion in 2008 to 1.44% or $33.5 billion in 2009.
"The decrease in the rate of theft is evidence of continued efforts by retailers to protect inventories and hold on to merchandise," said Joe La Rocca, senior asset protection advisor for the National Retail Federation. "This last year we have seen retailers working closer with law enforcement and really maximizing their investment in loss prevention."
As in years past, employee theft made up the largest portion of retail theft with $14.4 billion in losses or 43% of the total. The second biggest category was shoplifting with a loss of $11.7 billion or 35% of the total.