Shoplifters bag £400k a day

City A.M. Reporter
SHOPLIFTERS are costing British retailers almost £400,000 a day, according to new figures.

A survey from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) found that the total year-on-year cost of high street shoplifting was £137m, having risen from £99m.

The value of individual items taken by shoplifters has also risen to an average of £70 from £45.

Meanwhile 18,000 staff have reported that they have been victims of physical or verbal abuse during the course of their work.

The total number of thefts per 100 stores actually dropped by 11 per cent, but this failed to reduce the total cost to retailers.

Clothes stores are shoplifters’ most common targets, with 29.3 per cent of all thefts, followed by convenience stores and newsagents and supermarkets, with 27.3 per cent and 16.7 per cent respectively.

Retailers are being urged to rethink their security precautions in order to minimise the risk of shoplifting losses.

UK retailers spent around £210m during 2009 to 2010 on protection from shoplifters but the high value items are still being stolen.

A BRC spokesman said: “I think a raft of the more opportunist shoplifting offences have significantly reduced thanks to the extra security measures, and that’s left a bigger proportion of the more sophisticated, systematic higher-value offences.”

Fraud and burglary are the other costly problems that plague retailers.