Minimize Employee and Vendor Theft


Losses from theft—also called shrink—are a part of life for retailers. Shrink will never be completely eliminated, but truckstop and travel plaza operators can take steps to minimize it.

"You have to do everything you can every day to control it,” said Darren Schulte, NATSO’s vice president of membership, while presenting a workshop on shrink loss at The NATSO Show in Savannah, Ga. “It takes a significant amount of increased sales to make up for any shrink loss, so minimizing loss in the first place is key.”

Unfortunately, the greatest losses come from employees. “A portion of your employees will steal no matter what you do. They’re the biggest portion of your shrink,” Schulte said. “Then there are fence riders just waiting to see what you’re going to do. You may see someone eating popcorn and you don’t think it is a big deal, but it is. It shows he or she has no respect for you and your organization. If you don’t address it, those two employees that were stealing from you grows and becomes three or four or five.”

Paperwork errors typically account for 1 to 2 percent of a location’s variation, customers are 5 to 7 percent, vendors make up 7 to 10 percent and employees a whopping 80 to 90 percent...

Addtional Shrink Management Resources


Photo Credit: photopaul65/


This article originally ran in Stop Watch magazineStop Watch provides in-depth content to assist NATSO members in improving their travel plaza business operations.

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Mindy Long's photo

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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