Retail Shrinkage in Your Store

Retail Shrinkage in Your Store: Merchandising that reduces risk

No matter what type of retail store you own, keeping your retail shrinkage down is a key to the success of your business.

What exactly is retail shrinkage?

It is the loss of products between inventory purchase and the point of sale.  Experts will tell you that the top four sources for shrinkage are:

  • Employee Theft
  • Shoplifting
  • Administrative Error
  • Vendor Fraud

How much is Too Much?product shrink

Are you willing to lose $1.50 to $2.00 for every $100 worth of sales?  In the U.S. retail industry, research shows a hefty $12.7 billion (35%) of shrinkage was from shoplifting in 2008!

Unfortunately, the 1.5% to 2% number tends to be much higher for many retailers, but there are ways to keep that rate down.

Your merchandising strategy is a main component for reducing shrinkage from shoplifting.

Common deterrents include:

store layout display fixturesYour store layout can affect how visible your customers are to the store staff.

For smaller sales floors, running display fixtures so staff can view customers shopping the in the aisles is a big advantage.

This may include shorter display fixtures that allow visual contact with customers to deter shoplifting.

Using lower shelving heights is not always possible.  For better security levels, increasing the use of security devices will help deter theft.  These display techniques include locking peghooks that require staff to unlock them for customer purchase.  Security tethers allow display samples to be used and tested while securing them to retail fixtures.

For small high priced items, products can be secured behind a sales or service counter.  For larger categories of expensive products, security cases attached to shelving units keep products in front of customer and secured.

surveillance technologyFinally, use surveillance technology to your advantage.

Set up surveillance on retail displays in a way that makes customers visible on your security cameras.

No matter which angle a customer approaches a shelf or display fixture, a camera should be focused on your products.  If security cameras are not an option, fake security cameras are.  They look like real cameras to potential shoplifters.

The adage Big Brother is watching certainly holds true in the retail sector.

Make Sure Secured Products Sell

Trained and trustworthy employees are your number one defense against shoplifting.  But your staff cannot do it alone.  By placing proper security equipment in your store and setting up displays to discourage shoplifting, you quickly minimize your retail shrinkage.

However, there is a fine line.  Store associates must be alert to offer assistance to customers that show interest in secured displays.  You are in the business to sell products, not to secure them.  Losing a sale because a customer felt they did not have access to secured products will not help sales.  Be certain to train your associates about selling secure merchandise.

Midwest Retail Services offers secure store fixtures and accessories to display your products and reduce shrinkage.  For more details, contact Midwest Retail Services today.

Call 800-576-7577, or email us at  One of our display experts will be available to help you!


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About Midwest Retail Services

Midwest Retail Services provides all the store fixtures needed to start, expand, or update your retail store. We serve a wide variety of businesses including pharmacy, grocery, pet supply, party supply, book, C-Store, discount, and many other retailers. We also support POP design and fulfillment, retail designers, architects, contractors, installers, and store fixture resellers.