I used to work at the major game/pawn/retailer shop, and I learned something interesting about the way they operate. A metric quite common among retailers is the ‘shrink rate.’ I’m not sure how other stores calculate it, but at Gamestop it’s something like this:
(money made on stuff sold / (money lost on stuff (lost | stolen | handed out) *100)) = shrinkrate
Think of the ramifications of that. If your store does well, you can give stuff away and it’s all gravy. Given that every store loses track of a few things here and there, if your store stagnates, you obviously have thieves on your staff.
I worked as a ‘game adviser’ in a store in a mall that had been undergoing renovations for what seemed like years and there were two other much larger stores within about a mile radius. We didn’t sell very much outside of Christmas. I recall a dry spell where the weekly equation frequently read somewhere in the ballpark of (500/(50*100)). This would give us the rate of 10%.
The funny thing is what happens with this information. The immediate assumption with a high shrink rate, is that someone on staff is stealing from the store. It wasn’t too long before they brought in a regional inventory control manager to interrogate the staff, calling everyone’s character into question, and generally trying to weed out the thug. However, the only people who weren’t clean, and/or attending the local Baptist university were the managers.
After scouring the staff, they decided the only thing worth mentioning was that the assistant manager (the only person who gave a shit) had used his discount card for customers, which he bought and paid for, to help make some sales. Interestingly enough, since he was a pretty good salesman, the amount he wound up saving people was disproportionate to the store’s total volume.
They fired him.
I have a real job now, and I just went back a few weeks ago to visit. The store has been replaced by a local clothing retailer.