Retail crime, which includes shoplifting and employee theft, costs Canadian retailers $3.6 billion per year, according to the Retail Council of Canada. Dishonest employees and shoplifters can be a huge drain on a business.


The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention in the U.S. reports that 1 in 11 people is a shoplifter, and that men and women are equally likely to shoplift. Approximately 25% of shoplifters are children and teenagers, while the remaining 75% are adults. Though there is no standard shoplifter profile, store staff should keep an eye on individuals who

  • spend more time watching the cashier or sales clerk than shopping
  • wear bulky clothing or coats when unnecessary
  • walk with short steps, which may indicate that they are concealing items
  • take several items into the dressing room and only leave with one item
  • seem nervous and possibly pick up random items with no interest
  • frequently enter the store and never make a purchase
  • go into the dressing room or rest room with merchandise and exit with none

It is also important to watch large groups entering the store at one time, especially teenagers. This tactic is often used to distract sales staff by having one person cause a disturbance in the store, while the others shoplift.

Find out more about shoplifting and how to design your store to prevent it.

Employee theft

Employee theft occurs when an employee steals money, supplies, food or merchandise on the job. Protectron offers this advice for curbing employee theft at your business:

  • Screen employees
  • Know your employees
  • Highlight the importance of honesty and responsibility
  • Introduce daily deterrents to keep theft in check

Find out more about employee theft and what it means for your business.