Hard economic times will see thieves intensify their onslaught on shops this Christmas, a retail expert has warned.
The Centre for Retail Research says that an extra £61m-worth of merchandise will be lost this festive season compared with the same time last year. The total lost, it says, will be over £1bn, and will be down to shoplifting, employee theft and supply chain fraud.
Of the total, £656m-worth of goods is expected to be stolen by shoplifters and £302m by staff, with £83m lost through supply chain fraud.
Director of the Centre for Retail Research, Professor Joshua Bamfield, said: “Christmas crime has increased by 6.2% since the 2010 research, which is symptomatic of the tough times we’re facing as a nation.
“The double pressures of a weak economy combined with the most expensive time of the year will inevitably lead to an increase in loss so unfortunately it’s likely that it will worsen further before it gets any better.”
Neil Matthews of Checkpoint Systems, which sponsors the centre’s Global Retail Theft Barometer added: “We’re naturally advising retailers to be on their guard during the holiday season. With more customers passing through the doors and additional staff drafted in to cover the busy period, it’s essential that store operators are vigilant and aware of the potential risks before they arise.”