Despite $33.5 billion lost, shoplifting and retail theft decline, report says

shoppers in a retail store
shoppers in a retail store

Retailers lost a whopping $33.5 billion to fraud last year, but that's still the lowest level in 19 years, a new industry report says.

Retail "shrinkage" -- the combined result of people stealing from stores, employee theft, administrative errors and vendor fraud -- decreased to 1.44% of overall sales, compared to 1.51% in 2008, according to the National Retail Federation. That amounts to losses of $91.8 million per day or $3.8 million per hour in 2009.