Unknown causes represent about six percent of the total inventory shrinkage. The revised report also deleted any estimate of organized retail crime’s overall impact in dollars and any reference to CLEAR. The revised report also deleted any estimate https://quick-bookkeeping.net/ of organized retail crime’s overall impact in dollars and any reference to CLEAR. A K2 database of 132 organized retail crime groups dating between 2014 and 2022 found that luxury goods, often well protected, are targeted 11% of the time.

It did use the correct figure in its 2022 report when it compared that year’s losses with the prior years. But a shoplifting report examining 24 major U.S. cities published in November by the nonpartisan Council on Criminal Justice paints a different picture. Make sure your SKUs are boldly marked and easy to find, both on the shelves and on the products. This will prevent the loss of product that happens when a stocker puts an item in the wrong spot. Products can get damaged in shipping, on the loading dock, or during the picking and packing process. Because eCommerce goods pass through many hands on the way to the end customer, damage is likely to be part of your shrinkage factor.

Automate Inventory and Reporting

Most 3PLs provide transparent reporting and technology to help you control stock levels to prevent inventory shrinkage. The good news is there are a lot of ways to prevent inventory shrinkage. Any combination of these methods may work depending on whether you are warehousing products or have your own storefront. This “surprise” inventory audit should occur completely at random, preventing any advanced planning or number manipulation ahead of the count. You’ll get a clear look at what’s really going on in your stockrooms without having to count every single thing on hand. Cycle counting is more of a warning system than an inventory shrinkage deterrent in and of itself, however.

  • A powerful inventory management software platform with the latest features and tools will help you get more organized and less likely to lose track of inventory.
  • As per the stats, 42% of inventory shrinkage occurs because of employee theft.
  • It’s important to understand your shrinkage rate because it affects your bottom line.
  • However, expectations vary; for instance, a furniture manufacturer anticipates less shrinkage than a bakery, mainly due to the perishable nature of bakery products.
  • According to the 2022 National Retail Federation Security Survey, 60.3% of stores are boosting their investment in retail technology to mitigate shrink.

In a previous NRF shrink survey, it reported that retailers saw $94.5 billion in inventory losses in 2021. It calculated that by applying the average shrink rate of 1.4% to preliminary retail sales data reported to the U.S. Assume that a retailer’s computerized inventory records indicates that 961 units of Product X are on hand.


Inventory shrinkage is when you have less inventory than you should. Something is causing items to go missing before the point of sale. It affects every stage of the supply chain from the point of manufacture. And it affects every business’s inventory turnover ratio, which can be calculated using the inventory turnover formula, and sell through rate. These increased prices are passed on to the consumer, who is required to bear the burden for theft and inefficiencies that might cause a loss of product. If a consumer is price sensitive, then shrinkage decreases a company’s consumer base, causing them to look elsewhere for similar goods.

Reduce Shrinkage by Automating Inventory and Reporting With NetSuite

To calculate the shrinkage rate percentage, divide your inventory shrinkage value by your recorded inventory value, then multiply by 100. Vendor or supplier fraud is less common — comprising 3.7% of inventory shrinkage cases — but it does happen. If you’ve ruled out theft and administrative errors, investigate whether your supplier is abiding by your contract and that your numbers match up. If your inventory reports and sales records don’t match, you will have to spend a significant amount of time reconciling your receipts and accounting records. If this information is full of errors, the IRS can get involved as well and potentially audit your business.

Vendor Fraud

Among 26 major retailers, there were 44,834 dishonest employee apprehensions in 2022, up 18.0% over 2021, and these apprehensions allowed these retailers to recover over $50 million in revenue. Employee theft can be difficult to detect and mitigate but should be addressed to avoid shrinkage from this source. https://business-accounting.net/ If you perform frequent inventory audits and talk to your team, you’ll often get a better overall idea of where the shrinkage is coming from. Once you know what the problem is, you can take steps to get it under control. One study found that 4-10% of all food in restaurants never reaches customers.

Which Accounts are Affected by Inventory Shrinkage?

The most important impact of shrinkage is that lost products can’t be sold which directly results in lost revenue. If a brand’s inventory reports don’t match sales records, someone needs https://kelleysbookkeeping.com/ to spend time reconciling accounting records. Inventory shrinkage can be caused by employee theft, shoplifting, administrative error, supplier fraud, damage, and cashier error.

Having multiple employees double-checking inventory prevents both fraud and mistakes, so it’s one of the most effective ways to limit inventory shrinkage. You can do this in a cyclic manner to minimize the amount of time it takes, but it’s very important to track and manage your inventory. It’s a best practice to use technology that can keep inventory counts update in real-time rather than in Excel, which is static and not synced to anything. Ready to get your business organized and do more to prevent inventory shrinkage? Once you’ve adopted an effective inventory management system, these six tips and tricks can help lower your company’s risk of inventory shrinkage.

An automated inventory system helps the company to escape from depending on manual labor. It will also speed up the process of inventory count, cash management, better insight holdings, and more. This will ultimately result in a reduction of errors and losses in the process. Security checks should be a non-negotiable concept when it comes to inventory. The warehouse or the retail outlet should be covered with a web of CCTV cameras.

This forces the business to incur the loss caused from the company’s inventory accounts resulting in inventory shrinkage. Statistics say employee theft holds 42% of the inventory shrinkage of the company or the business. The reason is, the employees are in the closest proximity of the inventory, and can find loopholes in the security (in the warehouses/stores). Overcoming this situation may be tough but is not impossible. Whether due to theft or clerical errors, inventory shrinkage is a part of retail, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to prevent it. Stock control and clerical errors are other common causes of retail shrink.

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