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In 2017, retail crime remains one of the most serious problems facing superstores, retail chains and grocery stores. How big of a problem is it? Inventory shrinkage costs the U.S. retail industry over $45 billion each year. Internal theft, shoplifting, fraud and organized retail crime (ORC) can have a crippling effect on profit margins. But more importantly, retail crime puts shoppers and employees in danger. That’s why it’s so important to have a forward-looking strategy for preventing retail crime.

In order to help give you a broad view of what’s at stake, we scoured the web for research that provides insight into the scope of retail crime, as well as the steps that companies are taking to prevent crime from occurring. The following 40 stats offer a state-of-the-industry view of loss prevention, workplace violence, organized retail crime, internal shrinkage and more.


  • Organized Retail Crime (ORC) costs the retail industry approximately $30 billion each year. (Source: NRF)

  • 100% of companies surveyed experienced ORC, up from 97% in 2015. (Source:NRF)

  • 83% of retailers surveyed reported an increase in ORC year-over-year. (Source:NRF)

  • Habitual shoplifters are only caught an average of once every 48 times they steal. (Source: NASP)

  • Only 71% of loss prevention executives believe that their top management understands the severity and complexity of the crimes. (Source:NRF)

  • “Professional” shoplifters are responsible for 10% of the total dollar losses (Source: NASP)

  • Robberies continue to be a growing expense for retailers, costing an average of $8,180.17 in 2016, up from $2,465. (Source: NRF)


  • Inventory shrink cost the US retail industry $48.9 billion. (Source: NRF Survey 2017)

  • The average shrink rate is 1.44% (Source: NRF Survey 2017)

  • Nearly half of retailers surveyed reported increases in overall inventory shrink. (Source: NRF Survey 2017)

  • The average cost per shoplifting incident doubled to 798.48. (Source: NRF Survey 2017)

  • The average costs of return fraud was $1,766.27, with a median of $171. (Source: NRF Survey 2017)

  • 36.5% of shrink is external, due to shoplifting and ORC, outpacing shrink caused by employee theft, vendor fraud and administrative errors. (Source: NRF Survey 2017)

  • 1 out of 11 Americans (approximately 27 million) shoplift. (Source: NASP)

  • US grocery stores allocate only 0.36% of sales to reducing shrinkage. (Source: NRF Retail Study)


  • More than 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the last five years. (Source: NASP)

  • Habitual shoplifters steal an average of 1.6 times per week. (Source: NASP)

  • 57% of adults convicted of shoplifting say it is hard for them to stop shoplifting. (Source: NASP)

  • 33% of juveniles cannot stop shoplifting after getting caught. (Source: NASP)

  • Most non-professional shoplifters don’t commit other types of crimes. (Source: NASP)

  • Drug addicts, who have become addicted to shoplifting, describe shoplifting as equally addicting as drugs. (Source: NASP)


  • 374 violent deaths in retail locations in 2016 (Source: D&D Daily)

  • 49 customers were killed at retail locations in 2016 (Source: D&D Daily)

  • 32% of workplace fatalities occurred while working in a retail store. (Source: National Center for Victims of Crime)

  • 56% of government employee workplace violence is against law enforcement and security employees. (Source: National Center for Victims of Crime)

  • 26.3% of workplace homicide victims work in sales/retail. (Source: National Center for Victims of Crime)


Using biometric surveillance technology is one of the most effective ways to deter retail criminals. Here are some of our stats revealing the power of face recognition software for retail:

  • 91% decrease in workplace-related injuries from violent assault by retailers using face recognition.

  • 20% decrease in shoplifting reported by retailers using face recognition.

  • 1000-2000: the number of faces an average human can remember.

  • 1,400,000: the number of facial images biometric surveillance can scan per second.

  • 1-5 seconds: time to alert public safety officials when a violent offender, missing child or other person is detected.

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