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Thieves take retailers for billions of dollars, survey says

BY HBSDealer Staff

Shoplifters and dishonest employees stole more than $7 billion last year from just 23 major retailers, according to the 23rd Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International. These 23 surveyed retailers apprehended more than 1 million shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2010 and recovered more than $148 million from these thieves. 

Shoplifting and employee theft continue to plague the retail industry, according to Mark R. Doyle, president of Hayes International. The problem leads to higher prices, higher costs and it can force retailters to close unprofitable stores, he said.

Hayes International is a Wesley Chapel, Fla.-based loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm.

Recently, retailers haven’t been able to defend themselves as aggressively as years past, he said. “For the first time in over 10 years, total shoplifter and dishonest employee apprehensions, and the dollars recovered from those apprehensions all declined from the previous year,” he said. 

The retailers surveyed made almost a million shoplifting apprehensions, apprehended more than 69,000 dishonest employees, and recovered more than $148 million from the shoplifters in 2010. These numbers are all down slightly from the previous year. 

"It appears the economy, fewer store employees and less loss prevention staffing all played a role in these results," Doyle said.

Other highlights from the survey: 
• Participants: 23 large retail companies with 19,104 stores and more than $632 billion in retail sales (2010).
• Apprehensions: 1,029,276 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2010, down 3.8% from 2009. 
• Recovery Dollars: More than $148 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2010, down 7.3% from 2009. 
• Shoplifter Apprehensions: 959,903 shoplifters were apprehended in 2010, down 4.1% from 2009. 
• Shoplifter Recovery Dollars: More than $104 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters in 2010, a decline of 4.7% from 2009. An additional $33 million was recovered in 2010 from shoplifters where no apprehension was made, up a substantial 16.4% from 2009. 
* Employee Apprehensions: 69,373 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2010, down 0.4% from 2009. 
• Employee Recovery Dollars: More than $44 million was recovered from employee apprehensions in 2010, down 12.7% from 2009. 
• On a per company basis, one in every 33.2 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2010. (Based on more than 2.8 million employees.) 
• On a per case average, dishonest employees steal 5.9 times the amount stolen by shoplifters ($639.99 versus $108.46).

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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index

BY HBSDEALER Staff

 

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for July 29, 2011

*Western – regional species perimeter foundation; Southern – regional species slab construction.

Crow’s Market Recap — A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report.  

LUMBER: SPF mills in both eastern and western Canada possessed enough order file to maintain price levels. Wholesaler-owned volumes of 2×4 were often discounted. Wider widths were not as susceptible to the same pressure. All Southern Pine dimension lumber prices continued to climb, influenced by constricted supplies, shifts in production to alternative items, production cutbacks, slight increases in demand and thin yard inventories. Enough volumes were sold in the Coastal species lumber market to buoy prices in most instances. The few exceptions were in green Doug Fir, where continued pressure on narrow widths drove prices lower. General prices offered for Inland species lumber have remained virtually unchanged, as mills count on the stability of the market and loyal customer bases to mute countering attempts by buyers. Narrow widths have been the primary targets of countering. Whether it is Ponderosa Pine #3 Shop, P99 or Cutting Commons, it sells relatively easily and often can be sold at a slight premium over its previous levels. All #2&Btr Shop are very firmly priced. Likewise, Mldg&Btr is stable and moving at unchanged prices. The price of #3 Common is still a shade better than #2, which has been under pressure from soft retail demand for this entire spring and summer. Idaho White Pine producers show some fairly wide spreads in the Sterling material, but Standard is consistent among producers. Eastern White Pine producers continue to report conditions basically unchanged. Radiata Pine Shop is of concern, because producers do not and have not wanted to ship it to the United States under current conditions. Western Red Cedar producers reported little change in both volumes sold and prices.

PANELS: Western Fir plywood sales activity surged, with CDX prices increasing $10- to $15 in several instances. Regionally, participation from yards was widespread. Enough demand for Southern Pine plywood emerged to push mill order files out and firm prices. Wholesalers purchased more heavily, helping to move mill prices. Taking their cue from a slight increase in demand, OSB producers reacted quickly to elevate their numbers in most regions. Most of the gains can be expressed by values of $5 or slightly less. Canadian plywood sales at mill level took place at slightly elevated numbers. The elevated numbers are C$302 to C$305 for 9.5 mm CSP sheathing delivered to Toronto. On that basis, a 1% move upward is justified for Spruce plywood. All the particleboard and MDF pricing vectors in the marketplace aligned in recent weeks, with the result that a solid surge in price increases has taken place.

For more on RISI, click here.

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Simpson posts sales and earnings gains

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Pleasanton, Calif.-based Simpson Manufacturing Co. reported second-quarter net sales increased 7.4% to $177.8 million, up from $165.6 million in the same quarter last year. 

Net income was $19.5 million, up from $6.7 million in the same quarter last year. 

Sales increased in the United States, with increases in California and the western, midwestern and southeastern regions, as compared with the second quarter of 2010. Sales in the northeastern region decreased slightly.

Sales to contractor distributors, lumber dealers and home centers increased, although economic conditions remain challenging, and sales to dealer distributors were flat. The sales increase was broad-based across most of the company’s major product lines as compared with the second quarter of 2010. Sales of anchor products increased over the same period in the prior year, while sales of shearwalls decreased.

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