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Retail theft cost UK stores £4.4bn last year

Retail theft cost UK stores £4.4bn in the year to the end of June, according to a survey of 42,000 European retailers - with branded clothing the most common target.

According to the Centre for Retail Research, more than a third of thefts were carried out by members of staff.

The survey, which was carried out on behalf of retail security company Checkpoint Systems, found that an average of £12,054,794 worth of goods were stolen every day in the UK in the year. The thefts add about £180 to the average family’s annual shopping bill as stores pass on the cost, the report said.

The £4.4bn total bill was actually 5.8% lower than in the previous year, but retailers said the UK still has one of the worst records in the world.

Neil Matthews, from Checkpoint Systems, said a typical “theft spree” saw £93 worth of goods taken.

“While the amount stolen in the UK may well have gone down, that doesn’t mean the overall impact on the general public is any less significant,” he said.

Readers' comments (1)

  • The law is still on the side of the thief. It is near impossible to prevent theft within a retail environment and be able to ensure the law will support you. My experience of this problem comes from working in a National retail chain, I can only imagine how difficult it is for independents.

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