New Research from IHL Group Shows Retailers’ Cash-handling Costs Range from 4.7% to 15.3%, Depending on Retail Segment

Report outlines ways that retailers can improve profitability by reducing their cash-handling expenses

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--()--U.S. retailers that are trying to compete with Amazon and Walmart are struggling to find the labor hours to do activities such as Click and Collect, Buy Online Pickup in Stores (BOPIS) and Ship from Store profitably. According to new research from IHL Group, retailers can recapture between 100 to over 500 labor hours a month per store by automating some of their cash handling processes.

"Much has been made about the cost of credit and debit transactions," said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group. "But the real cost of cash ranges from 4.7% to over 15% for some retail segments. These costs are often hidden as they are part of a manager or supervisor’s job rather than their complete focus. Yet optimizing these processes through targeted automation can provide hundreds of labor hours per month to stores to improve the overall customer experience."

IHL’s new research report, Cash Multipliers - How reducing the costs of cash handling can enable retail sales and profit growth, was conducted across hundreds of retailers in North America in 13 different retail and hospitality segments. Retailers were interviewed on the cost to open cash drawers, close drawers, perform change requests, pickups due to large bills and outright theft of cash on the front end. In the back of store, measurements on the costs associated with counting drawers, making deposits, contracting with cash-in-transit companies and associated bank fees were tracked.

“Although the percentage of cash transactions has been reduced over the years, the processes for handling cash have largely remained the same,” added Buzek. “Most often, retailers task the most expensive employees in the store to count and transport cash, which means these employees are not available for other, more profitable customer-facing transactions.”

According to the research, consumer attitudes towards shopping have changed in most retail segments. Customers are more likely to be visiting stores looking for product expertise and experience rather than just picking items from shelves. Retailers that are thriving in 2018 are those who are able to utilize their best employees to help create that positive shopping experience. Cash automation is one of the many ways in which retailers can free up labor to provide this improved experience to keep customers coming back to their stores.

Cash Multipliers is a free study. The research was conducted independently by IHL Group, but the research report distribution has been underwritten by Fujitsu, Glory, Balance Innovations and APG Cash Drawer so that the research can be available to all interested parties. A webinar on the study results is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 31st.

Included in the study are the costs for handling cash, the hidden areas that are often forgotten, where optimization makes the most sense, how to recapture those labor hours for customer-facing activities, and a cost of cash calculator so that retailers can run their own calculations.

About IHL Group

IHL Group is a global research and advisory firm headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, that provides market analysis and business consulting services for retailers and information technology companies that focus on the retail industry.

For more information, see, call +1.615.591.2955 or e-mail


Ketner Group
Jeff Ketner, 512-794-8876

Release Summary

New research from IHL Group shows retailers’ cash-handling costs in stores range from 4.7% to 15.3%, depending on the retail segment.



Ketner Group
Jeff Ketner, 512-794-8876