U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Self-Scan Checkouts and Retail Loss: Understanding the Risk and Minimising the Threat

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 24 Issue: 3 Dated: 2011 Pages: 199-215
Adrian Beck
Date Published
17 pages
This study examined whether retail shrinkage increases with the use of self-scan checkouts (SSCs).
Using retailer case studies and a survey of employees, data are presented assessing the extent to which the introduction of self-scan checkouts in the retail environment affects the rate of shrinkage. It is argued that although available data currently suggest that they have little effect upon rates of shrinkage, the unique nature of the self-scan environment requires a more nuanced approach to the way in which crime prevention theory is used to understand the potential risks associated with this technology. It is concluded that retailers should think about creating 'zones of control' for self-scan areas and that offending behavior generated by customer frustration with this technology offers further evidence of the way in which theories of neutralization, situational prevention and cognitive dissonance can inform the increasingly complex interplay between consumers and retail spaces. (Published Abstract)