A study launched this week by retail consultancy Retail Knowledge reveals that ‘insider theft’ or theft by employees, of both stock and cash, is among retailers’ top three areas of concern.

The Volumatic Kount Retail Fraud Survey 2013 is the UK’s most detailed report into loss prevention, which looks into the concerns of 100 of the UK’s top retailers. The Survey reveals that alongside online fraud and return fraud, internal theft is a major area of concern for retailers and the biggest area of store loss.

Concern about employee theft of stock has risen from 18% last year to 27% in 2013. While recognition that cash theft is a problem has increased from 11% to 14% this year.

James Harris, commercial director of Volumatic, said: “Surprisingly, despite almost a fifth of retailers naming the internal theft of cash specifically as an issue to their loss prevention strategy, half of all retailers participating in the survey use no cash security products at the POS.

“This study highlights many areas that should help the loss prevention community benchmark themselves against their peers and to identify opportunities to engage with their businesses and each other, to win back some of the multi-billion pound hole in profits that is being created through shrinkage.”

Paul Bessant, CEO of Retail Knowledge, said: “The survey has highlighted the need for retailers to instil a positive culture of loss prevention and this could prevent the figures rising for another year. At a time when the recession and tough economic climate continue to burden retailers, losses of this magnitude are even more unwelcome.”