In the retail industry, shrinkage and losses from theft are a big deal. Shoplifting, employee theft, and other reasons cause this shrinkage, which represents a $100 billion annual loss for retailers worldwide. External theft and shoplifting, including organized retail crime, are the most significant areas of shrinkage among retailers in the U.S. In 2018, external theft and shoplifting accounted for 35.6% of all losses. Internal theft is also a factor for shrinkage and accounted for 24.5% of total losses.


For most retailers, these losses account for under 1.82% of sales. Fashion and accessories retailers are hit harder, with losses accounting for 2.43%. While these numbers may not seem like much, over the fiscal year these losses add up to a lot of would-be profits being taken from a company. This profoundly impacts the bottom line and has retailers investing in new technologies and innovative supply chain security solutions to combat these areas of shrinkage and protect their business. Theft is a serious issue for retailers, and one that is not going away any time soon; which is why, presently, over 80% of them are developing and implementing loss prevention strategies to mitigate shrinkage.


To create and enact a successful loss prevention strategy, you must understand thoroughly the causes and types of retail shrinkage and where it comes from. With this strong understanding, you can then form the tactics that you can implement to get at the heart of these losses. For the last 146 years, TydenBrooks has created and implemented tamper-evident solutions for these retail challenges in over 75 countries worldwide. A strong multi-layered security strategy is essential for all areas of retail, no matter how much their individual security solutions may differ. Let's take a look at some key physical supply chain areas that have vulnerabilities, and present some TydenBrooks solutions that will combat these potential losses.


Shrinkage Solutions – Physical Supply Chain


The threat of shrinkage begins at the very start of the supply chain process, at the manufacturer's initial shipment to a retailer's distribution center (D.C.). From there, threats exist from D.C. to the store shelf. From the beginning to the final destination, there are many opportunities for theft and pilferage along a supply chain. This is why a loss prevention strategy with multi-layered security protocol is necessary at each level with every department working together to implement these strategies. 


Freight ready to ship that is staged for pick up in either the manufacturer's or distribution center's yard is one of the most at risk for theft and pilferage. Both full truckload (FTL) and less than truckload (LTL) retail freight are threatened while at this stage. Often, these trailers are backed up against a wall or against other trailers to prevent bad actors from gaining access to the trailer doors. In addition to this, adding additional layers of security such as utilizing kingpin and landing gear locks is wise.


Along with these strategies, having a high level of visibility over the movement of your shipments and trailers is made possible by leveraging technology. GPS tracking systems embedded in trailers are becoming more commonplace in this day and age, but these can be attacked by jammers or completely disabled by hackers working with cargo thieves. If your trailer door is unlawfully opened, are you alerted and able to tell when and where it happened? Knowing these details can help in deciding how to respond to these types of situations.


TydenBrooks has used its vast years of knowledge and innovation to create a new state-of-the-art technology seal solution, the GeoBolt™. The GeoBolt™ provides multiple layers of reliable visible security for your shipments making sure they're not easy targets. When your freight is under attack, you're alerted when the ISO Bolt is cut. You can create customized geo-fence alerts around your yards and along the routes to protect your retail freight in the areas where it is the most vulnerable.


The GeoBolt™ is self-monitoring and fully integrated with GeoSmart, the web-platform specifically developed for this product with the state-of-the-art programming language, Ruby on Rails. This system is supported by one of the world's most reliable database managers, Oracle, and hosted on the #1 cloud management company in the world, Rackspace. Utilizing this type of a security seal technological solution not only protects your freight when it is at rest but also when it is in transit or left unattended at truck stops and in areas with high cargo theft activity.


TydenBrooks also offers an extensive catalog of high-security seals such as our SnapTracker, ISO Cable Seals, SeaLock line, and our LSA Security Container Labels which are used on truck doors. These solutions are used to create dependable multi-layered security for your retail supply chain. These high-security seals are ISO 17712 compliant and provide a strong barrier that requires special tools to remove. This deters thieves who are looking to make a quick grab and go job.


For less than truckload shipments, which are usually trucks that must make multiple stops at different retail stores, our suggestion would be to utilize high security keyed padlocks and combined them with our plastic 12" or 9" X-Strap to provide tamper evidence and security between drops. The X-Strap is a fixed length plastic security seal specifically designed for use with keyed padlocks and offers numbering, company name, and barcoding. The 12" X-Strap is designed for roll-up doors and the 9" is best suited for standard swing doors. Between each stop, you can log the numbering or scan the barcode ensuring each shipment drop is properly tracked protecting your bottom line and brand. 


Shrinkage Solutions - Physical Supply Chain - D.C. & Store Front


There are also many threats of theft and pilferage in the D.C. and storefront areas of your supply chain, where the product is warehoused and sold. These challenges can also be met with similar security strategies. Internal theft and pilferage can be significantly reduced and even eliminated by incorporating tamper evidence systems using TydenBrooks' adjustable length security seals, tamper-evident bag solutions, and tamper evident security tapes and labels.


Improperly secured totes that are locked with non-tamper evident tie wraps are a major risk for D.C. pilferage. These tie wraps offer no track and trace or barcoding capabilities and can easily be purchased from any hardware store, making it simple to cut and replace without visual tamper evidence. By using our adjustable security seals such as the Secure Grip, Tug Tight, All Seal, and Equilok that tightly seal totes when correctly applied, you can prevent any openings or gaps that allow for pilferage. These adjustable security seals also allow for track and trace that makes replacing them once removed near impossible. These security seals can be customized with barcodes and serial numbers for improved security. They are also designed to help improve inventory control and reduce human error that leads to additional shrinkage. 


The TydenBrooks adjustable security seals should be used in conjunction with our KTXT and KT+ Void security tape to reinforce your multi-layered security strategy further. These security tapes secure cardboard cartons or totes and reveal tamper evidence with a visible VOID message when opened. TydenBrooks security tapes and labels can also be customized for your business and used for a variety of security needs such as internal facility security to prevent theft and pilferage being taken through an exit door in the warehouse. Our MRS2 or MRP2 tamper-evident labels with center security cuts are an effective solution and are also Fire Marshall approved; providing tamper evidence when an exit door is opened or even semi-opened.


In this age of technology, a lot of tampering takes place with credit card readers at the point of sale machines. This is usually carried out by a bad actor using an "overlay" skimmer that can be installed on readers very quickly by simply placing them over the top of the credit card reader. These are then used to steal important customer information, which can, in turn, greatly damage a retailer's reputation and brand. Our tamper evident holographic customizable security labels can be placed on the point of sale machine to show immediate tampering evidence from this type of attack. If an "overlay" is placed over the machine, it will obscure the tamper evident hologram seal and be immediately noticeable. Should an attack be made to remove the seal, it has a VOID message to provide an additional layer of security and tampering.


In addition to POS machine security solutions TydenBrooks has durable coextruded film tamper-evident bags and reusable heavy duty 330 denier PVC coated polyester bags to provide instant security to protect cash, checks, and credit card receipts right at the register. Our full line of reusable PVC polyester security bags has been internally stitched for added security and are designed explicitly for retail banking, document handling, and retail valuables in transit. The patented TydenClip chamber has tamper indicator breakout points that crack if an attempt is made to remove the TydenClip chamber providing maximum security and visual tamper evidence.


Shrinkage Solutions - Conclusion


Failing to have these multi-layered security systems in place to prepare for theft and pilferage affects consumers, employees, and retailer's bottom line. Internal and external theft accounts for a large portion of annual retail losses, just over 60% to be exact. All areas of a retailer operation must be invested in being a contributing part to a proper loss prevention strategy to be successful. Theft and pilferage take on many forms and bad actors continue to come up with new strategies, not all are as straight forward as swiping a product off the shelf. With proper training and education on how shrinkage affects everyone at a company, hurting things such as bonuses and jobs, it should become clear that it is everyone's responsibility to contribute to mitigating shrinkage. With a sound loss prevention system that incorporates multi-layered security and innovative security strategies, you can cut losses, drive revenue, and provide growth opportunities all around.



TydenBrooks Solutions

TydenBrooks is the largest and most experienced seal manufacturer in the world. We offer uniquely designed products to fit retail applications.  We offer a suite of solutions for all stages of your retail supply chain, virtually anywhere in the world. Our full line of security seals supplement and support your loss prevention procedures for retail products.  Contact us at 1-800-458-SEAL or to tell us about your application needs and learn more about how our security seals can make your stores more secure. Our solutions can help you improve your bottom line this year. Shop our products on our website here: