U.K. Convenience Stores Experience Threefold Jump in Shoplifting Losses

Last year, the Association of Convenience Stores estimated that $163 million in goods were stolen from convenience stores.

February 15, 2017

LONDON – In 2016, U.K. convenience stores saw their losses from shoplifting triple to reach a record high of $163 million (£131 million), according to the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), BBC News reports. The association based its numbers on reports from 7,123 stores in the British Isles, which translates to an average loss per location of $3,255 (£2,605).

Seventy-one percent of retailers surveyed by ACS aren’t happy with the response from police, and many of them are taking extra measures to deter shoplifters. For example, Paul Cheema, who lost $15,000 (£12,000) to thieves in 2016, has put out bicycle chains and doorbells on the fridges so every time a door opens, an alarm sounds. “We're also using social media to post pictures of suspects,” he said.

James Lowman, CEO of the association, thinks that police could be doing more to help curb shoplifting. “Police forces are de-prioritizing shop theft as they have so many other challenges. We think that's the wrong priority. Shop theft, for the most part, is either part of organized crime or due to alcohol and drug addiction. That's why it's really important that police do intervene,” Lowman said.

NACS offers retailers solutions and advice on store security and safety, such as robbery and shoplifting prevention.