Home News Internal Loss and Optical Theft More Common Than You Might Think

Internal Loss and Optical Theft More Common Than You Might Think

The global eyewear market is a multi-billion dollar industry. Unfortunately, some practices become the victim of optical theft, either from stealing, internal theft or sometimes, both.

An image of someone holding a stack of cash as it blows away in the wind
PM Images, Getty Images

A recent WO Poll asked respondents if they had ever been the victim of optical theft and if so, how they deal with it. Almost 80 percent (78%) of respondents said they had experienced optical theft; most often, customers stealing while the store is open. One-third of respondents had also reported suffering internal losses.

Almost 40 percent (39%) of respondents said they’ve had their stores broken into overnight or while the office was closed. Just over 10 percent (11%) of respondents reporting having never been a victim of optical losses or theft of any kind. Almost half (47%) of respondents said they suffer optical loss about once a year, with another 30 percent reporting loss more often than that. Just under one-quarter (24%) of respondents reported vary rarely being affected.

With such a large number of respondents noting they have been a victim of theft at least once before, how can it be prevented? Just over 80 percent (81%) of respondents say they have surveillance cameras inside to prevent theft, and about half of those also have cameras outside. One-quarter of respondents say they use reinforced entries and consistent employee training should an incident occur. Other tactics mentioned included security guards, weapons within reach and panic buttons that alert local authorities.

One respondent said, “For every patient that enters our optical department, we make them check in and we get their name and date of birth. We also tell them not to put any frames they handle back on the wall, so we can sanitize them before we put them back. This makes it easy to see if more frames are missing from the wall than are needing to be sanitized; in that case, we’ll know that patient has helped themselves to a few pairs.”

Not only is theft a financial loss, but it can bring a headache, too. Exactly half of respondents reported not even bothering filing with insurance, whether it be to avoid the hassle, deciding to take the loss or not noticing the loss until much later. Another 17 percent said their insurance “rarely” covers theft and losses, and another 17 percent said insurance only covers up to 75 percent of the loss.



Thirty-nine percent of respondents were non-OD females, and 17 percent were female ODs. One-third of respondents were male ODs and 11 percent were non-OD males.

More responses from readers like you = more accurate biweekly reports from WO. 

To view other WO polls and results, click here.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Lean Into Your Optometric Passion

For the years that Jennifer Palombi, OD, FAAO was in clinical practice, she also established and pursued a business in medical writing. “I enjoyed...

OD Stress Levels Nearly as High as Start of Pandemic

Eye care professionals report that their stress levels today are nearly as high as they were when Women In Optometry asked this question at...

Meet the Student Advisory Board: Paige Wagar, UWO

Paige Wagar has always been disciplined. Wagar competed in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and musical theater starting when she was four. Finding that it...

How to Let an Employee Go Without Endangering Your Practice

By Bj Avery, Vice President of Practice Compliance Solutions In our compliance company, which specializes in human resource management, employee termination is a weekly issue...