Shoplifters cost retailers £4.4billion a year! Good work lads!

19 October 2010

a shoplifter

It has been reported that shoplifting costs retailers in the UK a whopping £4.4bn per year. A third of that loss is attributed to employees nicking stuff from their place of work.

While it is an impressive amount of theft going on, the bad news is that the average shopper has to cough-up an extra £180 a year to cover the cost to stores of combating crime (which they're clearly not doing very well).

This research comes from the 10th annual survey into retail theft by the Centre for Retail Research. Catchy eh? They reckon that the average theft by a visiting shoplifter is £93 but those with a proper criminal mind who are in the employ of a company manage to make off with swag worth £1,988.

The most popular target for shoplifters is alcohol, in particular whisky. This writer once allowed £300+ worth of whisky to get stolen from a shop he worked in because he was too lazy to intercept the scallies at the door, despite the fact they were weighed down with giant bottles of the stuff.

Employees are reportedly responsible for thefts relating to cash, topping up loyalty cards or using credit cards fraudulently.

Professor Bamfield, author of the report said: "At one time it was razors because they are small and easy to sell on. But stores have tightened up security on these products which has pushed them into third place. Shaving products, perfume, skin oils leather goods and designer wear and small expensive items such as batteries can be sold on relatively easily."

"Companies have had to up their game to beat this problem. A lot of the goods don't have a very high profit margin, so retailers have to sell a lot more to get back what has been lost. Many start with educating staff about the issue, explaining to them that pinching goods is not a perk of the job."

"[Employees] may start off taking £2 a week from the till, but after a few months start taking £50."

TOPICS:   High Street News   Scams   Economy


  • Yue
    Pay someone peanuts and they'll act like thieving monkeys. Pay the fat cat shareholders their dividend and they'll still moan for more. Yet the guys on the shop floor will still struggle to pay their own bills so it should be expected. I know a shop that actually paid their staff so badly as they knew that they'd theive and it worked out about right.
  • Yue
    No this annoys me. The cost gets put on to the customer? Pay the employees what they are worth, the lower the level the less the pay but they do most of the work and most of us know it. Company owners are just cunts.
  • A R.
    Chop their hands off when you catch them, and make sure they are banned from claiming disability living allowance afterwards.
  • Willy-wonka
    All I can steal is chocolate, I am sick of it now.
  • Paul C.
    @ a daily mail reader Agreed. One hand for first instance Second hand for second offence. Chemical castration for third Then just burn them to fuel the national grid. No benefits - no nothing - get a job.
  • Michael
    Internal theft and fraudulent behaviour is the preserve of poorly paid workers? That'll explain Nick Leeson then.
  • tiny
    @Michael and MP's Why would most companies care about this? All it does is give them another excuse to increase the prices again.
  • Nobby
    So it is simple. The shareholds, fat cats and owners should just invest their money in something else. They can close down the business and the workers can go fuck themselves.
  • Alexis
    USB sticks from Staples apparently. As for razor blades - buy 'em off ebay and ask no questions where they came from. I'm thinking Gillette are the ones robbing me charging £15 a packet!
  • hippy1001
    the shops ive worked in seem to train the cameras on the staff not the actual customers thieving. So when i see someone nicking stuff i dont stop them, i didnt get paid enough to do that, i dont care if they do it. minimum wage = minimum effort Maybe shops will just do business online then all they need to worry about is the warehouse and royal mail staff nicking thier stuff!
  • Laurz
    A store I worked in with a turnover of £20m amazingly had NO CCTV camera's inside or and NO security guard and it is a store that sells very desirable goods and thousands upon thousands of pounds worth of goods walked out of the door every single week.
  • Jamborie
    Actually walked? on legs and everythink?
  • Jamie
    I once had a boss in the BBC who looked a lot like that shoplifter. But with less hair and a stripier shirt.
  • ScotsontheRocks
    @jamie. Brilliant. Made me laugh out loud. I used to work in Victoria Wine when I was at Uni and made off with half bottles of whisky in my socks. The day I left the manager thanked me and told me the brand of every bottle I had nicked. What a top man! I have never filled my socks since. Great article.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment