Protect your stock from liquor thieves

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Protect your stock from liquor thieves

Some liquor retailers believe stock thefts are on the increase due to the economy. Don’t let stealing make your store do it tough.

As most retailers know, opportunistic stealing is very common. In fact according to Crime Statistics Australia, theft without unlawful entry accounts for the majority of crime in Australia.

Results from 2017 National Retail Security Survey (NRSS) report that inventory shrink accounted for 1.44 percent of retail sales, or $48.9 billion, in 2016. The executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, Russell Zimmerman, has said increase in thefts may be related to the tougher economy, and at least one liquor store operator agrees.

“Theft is up because people don’t have the disposable income to buy alcohol,” says Giuseppe Minissale, General Manager of Porters Liquor.

This may be true but there are other factors that influence shoplifting, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC).

Most thieves are motivated by profit or gain, and the fact that few shoplifters are ever caught may also be an influence. The AIC has identified a number of situational factors that facilitate shoplifting

  • the presence of craved items (alcohol falls into this category)
  • store floor plans that provide opportunities for thieves to conceal items
  • unsecured merchandise
  • absence of security guards.


While liquor retailers can’t change the desirability of their stock or how it is merchandised they can use crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) to create clear sight lines, and where this isn’t logistically possible introduce closed circuit television (CCTV) coverage.

In addition, the AIC recommends enforcing strict monitoring procedures and implementing – and communicating – policies on how staff should respond to incidences of shoplifting. For example, known perpetrators can be banned from the store, but their identity needs to be made known to all staff, including new hires.

Inside jobs

Remember that store employees may also steal. The AIC estimates that more than half of retail thefts are either facilitated or committed by staff members so measures to address this risk also need to be part of the store’s procedures. These could include

  • pre-employment screening
  • anti-theft policy awareness
  • bag checks.


As a fundamental step to protect their business from financial losses from stolen stock, liquor store operators can insure their business against theft. One such policy could be Gallagher SmartProtect Business cover, which includes

  • cover for theft of stock without forced entry
  • $ 5,000 stock and contents in any open sided structure or other open spaces within the boundaries of the site (or sum insured if less than these limits)
  • flexibility for seasonal fluctuation in stock levels of up to 50% in value, only 20% increase in stock levels required.

SmartProtect Business insurance also covers other operational risks, such as fire, machinery breakdown, public liability, tax audits and income protection, in a single package.

 You can trust Gallagher’s brokers to take care of your business. Let us help you ensure your business is protected against inventory shrink through theft.

 To the extent that any material in this document may be considered advice, it does not take into account your objectives, needs or financial situation. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate for you and review any relevant Product Disclosure Statement and policy wording before taking out an insurance policy.

The article above was submitted by LSAWA Corporate Member Gallagher. Please support those who support us.