Winning the Battle Against Internal Theft

A jewelry store manager notices diamonds in a ring have been replaced with CZs. A vendor demands payment for memo merchandise a jeweler says he never received. A necklace is missing, and no one on staff knows why. A store owner learns an employee hasn't made bank deposits for days. A store's petty cash drawer is almost empty, with no receipts. An angry customer says she didn't order an expensive watch charged to her account. These cases all have one thing in common—theft by a jewelry store employee. Internal theft is "the single most significant cause" of annual retail inventory shrinkage, says the University of Florida 2003 National Retail Security Survey. The study, which surveyed retailers across the country, says internal theft accounts for almost half (47%) of all shrinkage—far exceeding shoplifting (31%) or administrative error (15%)—and costs $15.8 billion annually, "a s

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