CHICAGO -- Supermarkets saw costly losses from employee theft, check fraud and store robberies during 1994, according to a survey conducted by the Food Marketing Institute, Washington.
The survey found the average amount taken in a supermarket burglary was $4,003.52. The majority of burglaries last year occurred on weekends, between 6 p.m. and midnight, and robbers most often were armed with handguns (53%) or made physical threats (36%).
The fewest supermarket robberies occurred on Wednesdays, from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m., the survey added.
Employee theft was another cause of losses for supermarkets last year. Survey respondents said an average of 2.9 incidents of employee theft occurred per store, with the average amount stolen $256.79.
Retailers said shrinkage occurred mostly at the checkout and involved merchandise and cash theft by employees -- a trend that corresponds with previous FMI survey findings.
Supermarkets are also experiencing serious losses from check fraud, the survey reported. Retailers polled reported a total net loss of about $63.6 million in bounced checks for 1994, with the average bad check value being $67.13.
The survey reported that retailers are making headway in combatting shoplifters, however. Respondents caught about 240,000 shoplifters during the last year, recovering a total of $6.48 million worth of merchandise.