Retailers must brace themselves for a huge surge in shoplifting in the run up to Christmas - £431.2 million worth of stock will be stolen from UK stores in the four-week period according to Checkpoint Systems.
Up to £48,833 worth of goods will be stolen every minute from UK stores over the key Christmas trading period. Some 105,000 incidents of theft expected to occur, a rise of 206% against a normal four-week trading period.
On Saturday December 22, which is widely expected to be the year's busiest shopping day, around £26.4m will be lost to shoplifters.
Womenswear is one of the categories most at risk of theft according to Checkpoint, with dresses, jackets, shirts and blouses all targets for thieves this year. Underwear, lingerie and jeans are also popular categories with criminals.