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Shoplifting spike costing traditional investment options billions

  • July 26 2019
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Invest

Shoplifting spike costing traditional investment options billions

By Cameron Micallef
July 26 2019

Traditional investor favourites, such as supermarkets and the telecommunication industry, are estimated to be losing up to $3.37 billion in stock annually, according to a new report.

Shoplifting

Shoplifting spike costing traditional investment options billions

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  • July 26 2019
  • Share

Traditional investor favourites, such as supermarkets and the telecommunication industry, are estimated to be losing up to $3.37 billion in stock annually, according to a new report.

Shoplifting

The Australia and New Zealand retail crime survey indicated that 0.92 per cent of revenue has been lost due to theft. 

Customer theft has been attributed 57 per cent of the figure – 16 per cent on figures from two years ago.

Commenting on the results, the study’s lead researcher, University of London’s Dr Emmeline Taylor, said “thieves now tell me that it’s easy to get away with petty theft”, where the reward is greatly outweighing the risk. 

“There are multiple factors that could be contributing to this, including the introduction of self-service checkout, and changes in criminal behaviour,” said Dr Taylor.

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“Thieves are becoming more brazen,” she outlined, noting that this has been witnessed in the recent “steaming” technique used by gangs to overpower mobile phone shops in broad daylight, often intimidating staff and pushing customers out of the way to reach the stock.

Checkpoint Australia’s vice president, Mark Gentle, said “it’s evident that thieves have upped their game and retailers need to adapt to stay ahead”. 

He highlighted that loss prevention technologies are still the best deterrents for opportunistic shoplifters and, when combined with good customer service, will often significantly reduce theft in stores.

The study also found:

  • Telecommunication stores suffer the highest average value of theft – estimated to be “more than $1,000” per incident.
  • Baby milk formula, meat and face creams are most commonly stolen from supermarkets.
  • Supermarkets typically report losses of “under $20” per theft incident but noted an increase in frequency.
  • Self-service checkouts continue to be vulnerable to theft. Retailers are responding by introducing more POS video analytics, including cameras that film customers at each individual machine.
  • Criminals are becoming more organised in relation to store theft, with the report noting a large resale market for goods, including stolen food and champagne, that is being on-sold to restaurants, as well as the “daigou” phenomenon that has seen baby formula being sold in China. 
  • Micro-gangs are using “steaming” techniques to brazenly raid shops during operating hours.

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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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