Retail shrinkage is a term used in retail loss prevention. It refers to any type of loss identified as missing stock or lost revenue. It can come in a variety of forms, such as customer theft, internal pilferage, admin errors or damage to name just a few. 

The below chart taken from the report ‘Retail Crime Costs in the UK 2019’ provided by the Centre for Retail Research helps to showcase the significant losses that retailers face each year. Unfortunately, this is a growing problem and estimates show a 9% increase for 2020.

retail sector table

The biggest losses for most retailers comes in the form of shoplifters. The recent changes to the (Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014) stipulate that an offender who has stolen less than £200 no longer needs to attend court. Therefore, the level of involvement from Police to tackle lower level crime is reduced which unfortunately means shoplifters are more inclined to commit theft under the £200 threshold. 

However, a significant amount of retail losses also come from within the organisation itself via staff pilferage or whilst in transit via third party logistics partners. Organised Retail Crime (ORC) from groups of dangerous criminal gangs will often target high value consignments of stock in transit or stored within the shop or with the warehouse. 

The impacts of crime doesn’t just include stock losses, it can also have a significant negative impact upon the retail employees with a total of 25 percent of retail workers experiencing physically aggressive or violent behaviour. COVID-19 has been a challenging time for retailers ensuring shoppers adhere to the new regulations. Providing a safe environment to work obviously improves staff morale and enhances productivity whilst the opposite could lead to absenteeism through stress. 

The main services we provide within this sector include CCTV installation and monitoring, assets in transit follows, stop and search teams, security officers, customer marshals, tracking services, stock loss reporting lines, covert investigations and infiltration.


We’ve also worked for:

  • LITTLEWOODS – Infiltration / drug use / theft. 
  • JD WILLIAMS – covert cameras.
  • WOOLWORTHS – corporate investigations.
  • RICK STEIN SEAFOOD RESTAURANT – lone worker services.
  • GRETNA GREEN GATEWAY – remote monitoring. 
  • PHANTOM MOTORS – CCTV / alarm monitoring.
  • LANCASHIRE SPORTS – CCTV / alarm monitoring.
  • MCCUDDY’S MOTORS – CCTV / alarm monitoring.
  • VISTA VALUE CARS – CCTV / alarm monitoring.
  • PRETZELS – CCTV London.
  • GR8 SPORTS – CCTV / alarm monitoring.
  • DAWSON’S DEPARTMENT STORE – CCTV / alarm monitoring. 
  • WILSON & CO – CCTV / alarm monitoring.