The holidays often mean increased sales, new inventory and more customers for retail businesses, with November and December accounting for as much as 30 percent of a retailer’s annual sales.1 This time of year can also bring greater risks for retailers, from losses due to employee theft, to accidents caused by overstocked shelves.
“With increased inventory and the hiring of seasonal employees, the holidays can be a more vulnerable time for a retail business,” says Scott Humphrey, a Travelers Risk Control professional who says injuries and employee theft are two issues that can become more prevalent during the holiday season.
Inexperienced employees can be more prone to injuries and accidents, with one in four employees suffering injuries within the first year of employment, according to a 2014 Travelers study. And more than a third of the $44 billion retailers lost to “inventory shrink” in 2014 was due to employee/internal theft, according to the National Retail Federation.2 Shoplifting, administrative and paperwork errors, vendor fraud or error and unknown causes accounted for the remainder of losses.
Taking steps to prepare well before the holiday season begins can help retailers avoid these common problems.