• CNBC analyzed the balance sheets of seven retailers to determine how much money they're actually losing from shrink and retail theft.
  • Generally, the inventory losses are only a small fraction of the retailers' net sales. They also pale in comparison to other factors squeezing margins, such as excessive discounting and promotions.
  • Some retailers are pulling back on their contention that organized retail crime is a primary cause of losses.

A range of retailers are again blaming shrink as one of the reasons they saw another quarter of lackluster profits.

But some of those companies have started to offer more detail than ever on how much shrink, or items lost to factors like external or employee theft, damage or vendor fraud, is cutting into their bottom lines.