in LPRC Reports

EAS Can Work, and EAS Can Fail Literature Review 2007 Hayes

EAS Can Work, or EAS Can Fail:
Reviewing a Shoplifting Control Process
Read Hayes, PhD
Truth can’t always be judged on the basis of popularity. We need good data.
In the beginning it was easier. Retailers put their goods out for customers to touch, and hopefully buy. Then as little selling places grew from blankets on the ground to large stores it all got tougher. Stores had little competition, and layered in helpful staff while securing their goods. But then Frank W. Woolworth really changed things when he took products back out from behind glass, cut staff and started selling a ton. Woolworth also started losing, a lot. And what Frank helped start keeps going- retailers continue to put out more goods while cutting back floor staff. Meanwhile- shoplifters are having their way with store goods.
Retailers are not sitting idly by however; retail crime and loss control is a billion dollar plus industry. But like many efforts, current asset protection is often a lot more art than science. Human safety and financial success are at stake in this pitched battle, so finding out what protective programs really work, and work well enough to be profitable, is critical.
Retail crime and loss is a major global issue. Retailing is a critical part of the world‟s economy with retail sales in the United States easily exceeding $2.8 trillion annually (US Census, 2005). After services, retailing is the largest employer in the United States, accounting for over 15 million American jobs. National studies indicate the cost of lost inventory to American retailers is over $30 billion a year (Hollinger and Adams, 2007). This loss is equivalent to a quarter of all US and UK annual retail profits (Bamfield and Hollinger, 1996).