Shoplifting on the Rise

The holiday shopping season is here, and with it comes the height of retailers' concerns over shoplifting and employee theft.

According to the latest National Retail Security Survey, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Florida, those concerns are valid as shoplifting is on the rise, costing American retailers $10.5 billion. And, while employee theft is down slightly, it is still the largest single source of inventory "shrinkage."

Retail theft impacts everyone, with consumers ultimately being hurt the most in the form of higher prices. Thieves also generally target hot-selling items, which means those must-have toys on your child's holiday wish list are less likely to be available on the store shelves.

Statistics show how inventory loss happens:

* Shoplifting 34% ($10.5 Billion)

* Employee Theft 47% ($14.6 Billion)

* Administrative Error 14% ($4.3 Billion)

* Vendor Fraud 5% ($1.7 Billion)

For many local retailers, the holiday shopping season is a make or break for the success of their businesses. It is also an extremely busy time, which leaves stores more vulnerable to theft. However, retailers are taking preventative measures to secure their stores, and according to the survey, those who spend more (as a percentage of sales) on loss prevention experience less shrinkage.