Eighty-seven per cent of Canada's small and medium-sized retailers victimized by crime in past year

    Twelve security tips could reduce retail loss due to theft, according to
    Retail Council of Canada and RBC

    TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Post-holiday sales are helping store owners to
clear out remaining 2007 inventory before spring, but unfortunately not all of
the empty shelves are due to paying customers. In fact, eighty-seven per cent
of Canada's small and medium-sized retail business owners report being
victimized by retail crime over the past year, according to a Retail Loss
Prevention Survey conducted by Ipsos Reid for the Retail Council of Canada and
    Specifically, small retailers across Canada who have been a victim of
employee theft, customer theft or break-ins estimate they are losing an
average of $1,005 per month. While not all retailers are able to pinpoint the
cause of all these losses, the survey suggests that up to $700 may be lost
through customer theft and $200 through employee theft each month.
    "Losing the equivalent of $12,000 a year to retail crime has a very
serious impact on Canada's small retailers' bottom line and their ability to
grow their business, increase staff, and provide excellent customer service,"
says Diane J. Brisebois, President & CEO of Retail Council of Canada. "Through
the post-holiday season, it's particularly important to remind retailers and
staff that it's always in their best interests to be as vigilant as possible
to reduce the opportunities for retail crime."
    As Canadian retailers look forward to a new year, RCC and RBC encourage
them to note the following tips, which are designed to help prevent losses and
protect both their establishments and their employees:

    RCC/RBC Retail Loss Prevention - 12 Security Tips for Canadian Retailers

    1.  Ensure the store has an open layout, good lighting, with good
        visibility to all areas of the selling floor.
    2.  Ideally, stand-alone shelves should be no more than 1.6 metres high,
        enabling clear visibility for staff throughout the floor area.
    3.  Shelves and stock should be neatly stacked and price tickets properly
        secured to goods.
    4.  Where possible, expensive and easily portable goods should be secured
        in cabinets, located close to staff working areas.
    5.  Empty hangers/boxes and excess stock should be removed from racks and
    6.  A staff member should always check the number of items taken in and
        out of changing rooms.
    7.  Warning signs should be clearly displayed regarding possible
        consequences of theft as well as the security measures in place to
        protect staff.
    8.  Staff rooms and stock rooms should be kept locked at all times.
    9.  If not already in place, consider installing surveillance devices
        such as observation mirrors at appropriate and strategic points
        within the store; also, consider installing a quality surveillance
        camera or Closed Circuit TV (CCTV)
    10. If not already in place, consider installing electronic sensors to
        notify staff when customers are entering and leaving your business.
    11. Invest in an effective asset inventory control system to identify any
        losses as they occur.
    12. Conduct a complete in-store security audit, in cooperation with
        staff, to assess specific security needs.

    In addition to these tips, both RCC and RBC advise retailers that
customer service is still one of the most effective crime prevention
strategies available to them. While the great majority of customers and
employees are honest and law-abiding, retailers need to be vigilant and
recognize that people who commit retail crimes will seek out environments
where there are few or no security measures and tools in place.
    "Each year Canadian retailers count on robust holiday and post-holiday
season sales and hope for minimal losses," notes Jim Hart, national manager,
Retail and Service Clients for RBC. "While there are many factors at play when
it comes to the various types and locations of retail businesses across the
country, there is a range of prevention tactics available to help any retailer
effectively discourage shoplifting and other types of retail crime."
    Based on the needs identified by this survey, RCC and RBC are working
together to create educational materials related to retail loss prevention,
which will be available to Canadian retailers early in 2008. For further
information, please visit the Retail Council of Canada website at
http://www.retailcouncil.org and RBC's business fraud prevention website at

    About the Survey

    These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of the
Retail Council of Canada and RBC from July 30 to August 31, 2007. For the
survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 280 small and
medium-sized business owners was interviewed online. With a sample of this
size, the results are considered accurate to within +/-1.5 percentage points,
19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of
small and medium-sized business owners been polled. The margin of error will
be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: RCC, Derek Nighbor, (416)
922-0553 ext. 234, or c/o dnighbor@retailcouncil.org; RBC, Beja Rodeck, (416)
974-5506, or c/o beja.rodeck@rbc.com

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