‘Halting retail crime epidemic will need a broad approach’


Partnerships between retailers, the police and the government are welcome but, given the scale of the challenge, companies must take steps of their own to ensure the safety of staff and minimise inventory loss, believes Erin Brookes

The surge in shoplifting is becoming an urgent issue for retailers. With the crime up 25% in the past year, the police recorded more than 365,000 theft offences against businesses, putting staff and profits at risk.

Retailers are sounding the alarm. The Co-op noted that thieves cost it £33m in the first half of 2023, while Dame Sharon White, outgoing chair of John Lewis Partnership, recently labelled shoplifting an “epidemic” that cost her business an additional £12m year on year.

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