Convenience Store News

JAN 2017

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72 Convenience Store News | JANUARY 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM Store Ops + Labor + HR + Real Estate + Financial + Field Ops OPERATIONS W hether it's violent crime, rob- beries, shoplifting or employee theft, convenience stores have been dealing with store security issues for years. New technology is allowing opera- tors to amp up prevention and react faster to incidents, but in many cases — in c-stores and the entire retail industry — the situation continues to worsen. "I've been involved in the convenience store industry for 40-plus years and the risk of loss has not changed. The most worri- some is robbery, and as c-stores evolved into 24 hours, the violence level increased," Chris McGoey of McGoey Security Consulting told Convenience Store News. Robberies are up all-around, specifi- cally in convenience stores, as the latest released FBI statistics show robbery up 16.8 percent in c-stores/ gas stations from 2014 to 2015. Rosemary Erickson, researcher, forensic sociologist and president of Athena Research Corp., based in Sioux Falls, S.D., says this is the largest increase she can remember in all the years she has been studying crime. Erickson has helped NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, develop many of its security resources. "The word to the industry is double-down on your security measures because robberies are increasing," she told Convenience Store News. Additionally, in 2015, industry shrinkage across all retail averaged 1.38 percent of sales, or $45.2 billion. This was up by $1.2 billion from 2014, according to the 2016 Retail Security Survey by the National Retail Federation. Of those retailers surveyed, 47 percent reported increases in overall inventory shrink, with shoplifting accounting for the greatest amount (39 percent). "Loss by employee theft and shoplifting are still [at] the top of the list when it comes to profit loss," McGoey explained. "Even though armed robbery and violence gets more attention, the dollar loss from that activity is relatively low." In the c-store industry, in-store shrink was up by 2.2 percent to $20,270 per store in 2015, with the largest amount attributed to foodservice ($8,759), and $5,080 attributed to cigarettes, according to the 2016 Convenience Store News Industry Report. Although shoplifting is reported as the highest, internal theft is responsible for the majority of profit loss, followed by shoplifting, according to McGoey. He attributes these losses to a lack of control, organization and a security plan, and said those who believe their highest profit loss comes from shoplifting may not be paying close enough attention to their employees. "You show me the store that complains about shop- lifting, and they probably have a higher internal theft problem they are blaming on shoplifting," he said. Are You Doing Enough to Secure Your Stores? Theft and robbery continue to rise, but new technology and planning can deter By Tammy Mastroberte

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