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A nation of shoplifters

Highlights of the Global Retail Theft Barometer have been put online, and surprise, surprise the UK has the highest level of 'retail shrinkage' in Europe, at an estimated $7.6 billion. This equates to 1.34% of total retail sales, and the figures are up, admittedly marginally, from last year. So much for falling crime.

In more general terms, "The most-stolen items of retail merchandise within the 32 countries included branded and expensive products: cosmetics and skincare, alcohol, womenswear/ladies' apparel, perfume and fine fragrances, and designerwear. Other highly stolen lines included razor blades, DVDs/CDs, video games and video consoles, small electric items, and fashion accessories".

I can remember when you could still pick up packs of razor blades, rather than pieces of card, and take them to the till....


Globally, being a shopkeeper in India cannot be much fun, with 'leakage' - includes staff theft, vendor theft etc - at 2.9% of sales, although this is down from last year. As one would hope, the Swiss are among the least bad at 0.96%, although that is up 4.3% on the year. Iceland's figures dropped 6.4%, so maybe Reykjavik's Finest collared a few of the worst offenders.

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Blogger Ed said... 2:03 pm

I'm surprised it's as low as that here. This country is now the world leader in its something-for-nothing attitude. No prizes for working out where that came from.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 2:32 pm

I imagine it covers all thefts by value, and so many high value but unpocketable items like furniture, white goods and the like are included, thus lowering the percentage value of that stolen. No idea if they have included cars.....  



Blogger Matt Dean said... 2:59 pm

I fell into conversation with a Public Affairs Director of Boots recently at a conference and their shrinkage rate is nearly double that- due mainly to them selling highish value, low bulk goods such as cosmetics and razor blades. He pointed out that one of the reasons why there is so much packaging on items like razor blades is to make them less likely to be concealed (or should I say ‘shrinked’), at the request of the retailers.  



Blogger MJW said... 10:21 am

The UK figure shouldn't be a surprise the effective penalties for smaller offences have been significantly reduced since the Criminal Justice Act 2003 took force. The need to churn convicts out of the overcrowded prisons means that the risks/reward ratio has become more attractive to the criminal.

Thieves who get caught, even habitual offenders, can automatically get time off for pleading guilty, and then time off for good behaviour, which means that if their sentence is over 12 months they're likely to serve less than half. Whilst a sentence of 12 months or less actually means a maximum of 3 months in jail followed by a "supervision" order (though what supervision actually means is anybody's guess). There is a chance they won't even get sent to prison anyway.  



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