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Global forecast offers analytical view of Christmas retail threats…

Electronics, electronic accessories, children’s toys and apparel are expected to be the most stolen items during the Christmas period, according to the 2016 Retail Holiday Season Global Forecast. 

Underwritten by an independent grant from Checkpoint Systems, Inc. and carried out by retail loss prevention analyst, Ernie Deyle, the research indicates that retailers across all 13 analysed markets – including: the UK, the US, Australia, Canada and Japan – will experience both the heaviest sales volumes and the weakest performances specific to margin rate.  

Profitability strains tend to manifest during the holiday season, largely down to increased theft/shrink from internal sources — primarily via employee theft and other sales reducing activities (SRAs) — and external factors (organised retail crime/shoplifting). 

Deyle said of the findings: “Building holiday inventories earlier and specifically for high-risk items may lead to increased sales reduction pressures, including markdowns and shrink throughout the fourth quarter. In fact, as this report reveals, despite more than one-third of the year’s retail sales expected to be registered in just these three months, more than 40 per cent of SRAs are also incurred in this same time period. This leads to increased shrink, and puts additional strains on brick-and-mortar retailers already reeling from an ongoing inhospitable retail market.” 

Recommendations made in the report for retailers to address include: 

  • Properly train seasonal help to manage the increasing complexities of the season.
  • Maintain operational execution standards, while being vigilant regarding financial performance expectations.
  • Employ point of sale data analytic technology focused on SRAs to stabilise inventory loss and ensure on-shelf availability while enhancing product protection counter 
  • Update planning and financial performance models to properly account for advanced deliveries of seasonal products, since the seasonal build starts earlier now than in the past.
  • Enhance oversight to seasonal/holiday merchandise to ensure financial goals are achieved while cost centre controls are contained. 

Obtain a copy of the full report here