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American Retailers are Expected to Lose $8.9 Billion During the 2012 Holiday Season

Published by Ellen on December 4, 2012 12:08 PM

The holiday season, which lasts from mid-November through Christmas, is forecasted to have a significant impact on retail shrinkage. The Centre for Retail Research released a study on December 4th, 2012, and found that losses of $8.9 billion are the result of holiday shoplifters, dishonest employees, in addition to administration, vendor, or distribution errors. Due to heavy losses, American retailers are expected to increase their prices, which could add an additional $98 U.S. dollars to consumers' shopping bills.

So, how are holiday retail losses of $8.9 billion broken down? Losses incurred are expected to come from shoplifting ($3.8 billion in losses), employee theft and money stolen from the cash register ($4.7 billion in losses), in addition to administrative, vendor, and distribution errors ($400 million in losses).

Joshua Bamfield, a Professor and the Director of the Centre for Retail Research says, "The Christmas season is an especially attractive time for criminals. Thieves take advantage of busy stores to steal high-value, high-demand goods. As a result, retailers face a big threat from professional and semi-professional thieves, many of whom steal goods with the intention of re-selling them. Organized retail crime is a major concern for retailers -- especially since the average amount stolen per incident is much higher than 'normal' thefts."

The list of stolen goods is manifold: The "Shoplifting for Christmas 2012" report highlighted the product categories that are most often targeted by shoplifters and dishonest employees:

  • -Alcohol
  • -Women’s Clothing & Fashion Accessories
  • -Toys
  • -Electronic Devices
  • -DVDs & Gaming products
  • -Men’s Toiletries
  • -Food & Christmas Decorations
  • -Hardware and DIY kits
  • -Watches & Jewelry
  • -Chocolates & Other Specialty Candies

The following chart showcases retail losses throughout the world during the 2012 holiday season


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