The Losses of Pushout Theft
Pushout theft is a gloomy reality for all retailers. Ignoring pushout theft will inevitably lead to the large potential losses a retailer will obtain through harmed employees & customers, time, and merchandise. These loss types all have a negative impact on a retailer’s bottom line and public image.
Harmed Employees and Customers
For every pushout theft, there is a certain degree of risk to store employee and customer safety. The risk varies depending on a pushout shoplifter’s determination to steal unpaid merchandise and not being caught by loss prevention and/or police officers. Gatekeeper Systems, a leader in anti-pushout theft, found that in 2022 over 16% of pushout thefts ended in violence.
When a violent pushout theft happens, the retailer can be financially obligated to assist the harmed customer and/or employee. Even with an in-store employee policy of not interacting with a shoplifter the risk of harm is still ever-present. Furthermore, harmed employees and customers promote the public image of an unsafe retail environment. This can cause environmental stress deterring customers from shopping and employees wanting to work.
Loss of Time
For every pushout theft, there is a required amount of time for a retailer to document the theft for company and authority records. The documentation includes the shoplifter’s identification and losses to the retailer. This time adds up to hours should there be multiple pushout thefts taking place at the same store. This precious time can be better served in helping a retailer's store in other ways like for example helping to enhance customer service or properly manage merchandise.
Stolen merchandise is a financial loss for any retailer. Every pushout shoplifter’s goal is to steal merchandise and not get caught. What is stolen vary from case to case and store to store. Gatekeeper Systems found in 2019 that the average pushout theft cost retailers $1,160. In addition, in 2022 the top pushed-out items included electronics, groceries, alcohol, clothing, and baby supplies.
Some stolen merchandise has been documented to be recovered. However, the retailer still has a financial loss in the time it took to recover the merchandise and place it back on the store shelf. Furthermore, some recovered merchandise might be too damaged to re-sell and is still treated as a financial loss. Gatekeeper Systems found that in 2022 over 50% of merchandise is recovered from pushout thefts.