It’s interesting isn’t it, how a single industry, like retail, can be simultaneously faced with two completely opposing challenges? On one side of the spectrum, the typical grocers are having to tackle rapid spikes in bulk buying alongside big-spending seasons, which results in supply chain and stock issues…
Rishi Sunak announced that the UK Government are releasing a £4.6 billion relief package scheme to the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. These sectors are to be given up to £9,000 one-off grants. Additionally, £594 million will be given to councils to help the businesses impacted by local lockdowns who are not eligible for the new payments.
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One of the biggest economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic is the exceptionally high increase in unemployment, which due to a combination of business closures and cutbacks, is set to rise to 2.6 million by mid-2021. Sadly, the vulnerability of those with less available income can often result in crime spikes, and subsequently have a direct impact on theft levels within stores. There has been a 66.7% increase in shrinkage-related theft which correlates with the rise of unemployment in the UK. With this mind, retailers will have to adapt and protect against this spike in theft.
The global pandemic has reshaped our nation by fast-forwarding digital transformation. To survive the waves of uncertainty businesses are left to re-engineer digital strategies to support sustainability and change. The biggest change for many has been adopting remote working as a norm, and technology is what made this possible.
The UK is reported to have the highest level of shrinkage in Europe. The main cause of shrinkage in the UK is theft which accounts for over £5.5billion per year with over 1,000 daily incidents happening at the checkout! The top stolen items include the likes of delicious cheese, alcohol and sweets. A common way that sneaky shoppers are taking full advantage of less-than-intuitive self-checkout systems is by replacing expensive products with in-expensive products of similar weight!
Put yourself in the shoes of a customer; you go to a reliable store for a product that you really want, but it isn’t there! Immediate reaction? Go elsewhere. Stock shortages in supermarkets usually leave shoppers feeling frustrated and wondering as to why the goods aren’t available, resulting in the loss of business, which often goes to competitors.
Retail shrinkage is the destruction of profit margins through the loss of stock. Theft accounts for over £5.5 billion per year. This is hard for national chains to endure, but even harder for small convenience stores to cope with.