Sweethearting is a term used in the retail shopping industry to mean intentional margin loss/shrink through employee theft at the cash register or the cash counter. Sweethearting is the most common type of employee theft.
Sweethearting is unauthorized giving-away of merchandise or products without charge to a "sweetheart" customer (e.g., friend, family, fellow employee) by the fake scan or ring-up of merchandise by the cashier or the stores payment clerk. Employees operating cash registers can create numerous ways to sweetheart
- Scan avoidance: By deftness of hand the product is not scanned at all.
- Price overrides: Price is shown less than what it should be
- Refund fraud, gift card fraud: create a fraud with a refund of a merchandise or fraudulent uses of a gift card
- Invoicing scams: Happens at the input level or at the time of receiving the material from the supplier.
Sweethearting can be difficult to detect. Common countermeasures include use of CCTV surveillance cameras and security guards checking customer receipts at exits.
So Sweethearting exists and what do we do about it? First tell the employees that they too are being watched and at all the time. Second thing is to tell the employees that shrinkage means reduction of profits and that means less salary and less commission or incentives.
If the employees are vigilant the shrinkages will get reduced. Pay the employees a part of the money saved due to reduced shrinkage. So instead of having the employees work against you, make them part of the team that works for you cracks the menace of Sweethearting.