Infographic: Retail Theft


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This infographic was submitted by Super They supplied us with this description:

“The 23rd annual retail theft survey by Jack L. Hayes International reports that shoplifters and dishonest employees stole over $7 billion from 23 major US retailers in 2010. These 23 surveyed retailers also apprehended over one million shoplifters and dishonest employees and recovered more than $148 million from them.”

This reveals some very interesting information–worrying about shoplifters is not as crucial as worrying about dishonest employees! The graphs are pretty straightforward and helpful in this infographic, although the scale makes the difference in apprehensions between 2009 and 2010 look negligible. The silhouetted figures add a sort of intimidating feel to the infographic, which is appropriate given the nature of its content.

I like that the comparisons in numbers show percentage difference–that really helps drive the point home about what’s happening in the world of retail losses. The average case value breakdown between shoplifters and employees is also helpful.

What I don’t understand is the text at the bottom. Often times an infographic will be posted with an accompanying blog or chunk of text that puts the data back into a readable form, but when you look at the actual infographic, the text is minimal. This infographic seems to have condensed the IG and blog post into one, which has the strange effect of unnecessary repetition. Most of the text in “Apprehensions” and “Dollars Recovered” has already been visualized. It ends up feeling like wasted space and time.

Overall, I’d give this infographic a B-. The repetition just isn’t necessary, and the scale used on the data viz doesn’t really play up the difference in data enough for it to look significant. However, the basic structure and employment of data viz is in keeping with the traits of a good infographic.

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