Pushout Theft Study: The Takeaways
A perennial concern for many retailers is the extent to which they are victims of thefts where stolen items are simply wheeled out using shopping carts provided to consumers, commonly referred to as pushout thefts
The study, by Emeritus Professor Adrian Beck, offers a unique insight into not only the scale and extent of the problem but also an evaluation of an intervention focused upon addressing the issue of shopping cart pushout thefts – the Purchek technology developed by Gatekeeper Systems which utilizes wheel-locking technology.
Shopping carts are a popular tool for Organized Retail Crime (ORC) boosters and everyday thieves. Pushout theft allows thieves to clear out shelves a leave the store and leave with a shopping cart filled with stolen merchandise. It is estimated that most pushout theft is never recorded or worse, goes completely unnoticed.
It is estimated that a grocery retail store that has some indicators of elevated levels of risk, with annual sales of approximately $55 million, will experience pushout thefts that account for 4% of all unknown loss. Retailers can expect the following frequency:
- 140 pushouts a year (almost three a week), costing in the region of $43,600 per year.
- The average cost of a pushout incident is $310, although some incidents were valued at more than $2,800
More than just Theft Prevention
The core function of theft prevention systems will always be to prevent theft. However, LP/AP executives are in search of solutions that add value beyond standard theft prevention. The study concluded that Gatekeeper’s Purchek solution supported multiple key business areas that are important to retail senior leaders:
- 21% of offenders stopped with the Purchek system went on to pay for the products they were trying to steal. Preventing thefts ultimately helps to drive sales by increasing the shelf availability for good customers, but over one-fifth of all pushout theft suspects go on to purchase the items they intended to steal. Win-win.
- No relationship was found between the seriousness of the pushout event and the likelihood of violence and verbal abuse to occur. Because the Purchek system is “contact-free”, it significantly reduces the probability for violent encounters with employees, which lowers liability and litigation costs.
- Incidents of pushout thefts rarely lead to the involvement of the police – just 3% of recorded incidents made any reference to them being called/intervening. Purchek is more than just theft detection, it’s theft prevention. The solution stops the thefts before they can occur pushing the thieves to easier targets. This is particularly helpful in today’s environment where felony thresholds are being increased and shoplifting is being decriminalized.
Return on Investment
When it comes to financial decisions, retail executives often have one request before moving forward with a loss prevention solution: “Show me.”
The findings showed a marked decline in the number of incidents and weekly value of losses associated with trolley pushouts after Purchek had been installed for three weeks. This ‘golden period’ of deterrence had a profound effect upon the regular trolley push-out community who were made starkly aware of the utilization of the pushout prevention system. The number and value of losses declined by on average 49% and 47% respectively after the initial period of use of the Intervention.
A ROI model revealed that for a Grocery store with annual sales in the region of $55 million and an average installation cost of $40,000, the Discounted Payback Period for use of the Intervention was just over 1 year, generating a Net Present Value of $64,500 and an Internal Rate of Return of 70%.
Overall, the research concludes that for retailers that offer their customers the use of a shopping cart, the threat of pushout thefts is both real and significant. In addition, the evidence presented in this report suggests that the use of the Purchek wheel locking technology has a very positive impact on this type of crime, offering an attractive ROI proposition for retailers investing in this system.
Gatekeeper Systems’ expanded product suite of intelligent cart solutions offers solutions for EVERY retailer’s needs to minimize merchandise loss and reduce asset and labor expenditures.
Gatekeeper’s loss prevention, retail analytics, and cart containment solutions utilize patented locking wheel technology to put an end to cart-based shoplifting, shopping cart loss, and uninformed decision-making. Cart management solutions increase safety and reduce labor costs by maximizing productivity while simultaneously resulting in a positive store image.
Intelligent pushout theft prevention solutions stop thieves and their cart full of unpaid merchandise from leaving the store. Customizable wheel technology allows retailers to defend their entire store or just a high loss department based on the store’s unique layout.
NEW Retail Analytics solutions provide increased visibility for informed decision making. Increase efficiency, optimize fleet size, and perfect the entire customer shopping experience with store and enterprise-level analytics.
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