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Keep an Eye on Inventory

October 19, 2010

In a recent CNN.com article, it was estimated that retail theft added $423.00 to the average American family’s shopping bills this year.  In 2010, retailers lost approximately $40 billion due to stolen inventory; roughly 1.5% of the total retail sales in the United States.  However, despite the staggering numbers, these figures are a 6.8% improvement over 2009, thanks in large part to a 12.5% increase in security spending in 2010.

Being in the cash management business, I routinely encourage clients to manage currency on hand (cash) the same way they manage other inventory items.  Like retail goods, much of the loss experienced when handling currency comes from within.  Consider this, if relatively illiquid products like beauty care items or clothing are targeted for theft and resale, how much more attractive is cash for a potential thief?

As a former small business owner myself, I look back with surprise over the way I routinely handled cash.  Whereas I could accurately measure my finished-goods inventory thanks to real-time inventory controls, I could rarely do the same with my cash inventory.  Now, thanks to heightened awareness about cash “shrink”, retailers across the country are becoming more sophisticated in managing cash inventory.  Advances in intelligent safe technology and point of sale systems enable retailers to collect vital cash position data.  This data enables retailers to identify important trends, establish best practices, and keep a closer watch on potential theft.  After all, retailers want to provide value to their customers, not the bill for theft.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/18/news/economy/store_theft_drain_on_your_wallet/

 

~Jeff Hauser

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