Shoplifting is expected to cost retailers €44m over the festive period — with about €155,000 worth of goods being stolen every hour.
A study by small firms lobby group, ISME suggests the direct cost of shoplifting to retailers will amount to €220m for 2012, with €44m occurring over the Christmas season alone.
“Criminals see the Christmas period as the ideal opportunity; with larger crowds in stores, more stock on shelves, and an increase in temporary staff who may not have the experience to identify shoplifters,” said ISME chief executive, Mark Fielding.
The figures also estimate shoplifting can add up to 3% to the price of products.
The survey said the overall cost of such crime does not take into account the amount spent on security, “which adds hundreds of millions on to the cost for retail businesses”.
While alcohol, electronic goods, toiletries, clothing, and food products remain the most common items targeted by thieves; a significant increase in the amount of luxury goods being stolen has been noticed.
In its recent trading update and outlook for this year’s festive season, Retail Excellence Ireland noted that many retailers reported shoplifting activity to be “noticeably higher” this year.
In its retail theft prevention and reduction strategy, launched last year, An Garda Síochána noted “a proactive collaborative effort is required to target and prevent theft from shops”.
But Mr Fielding said: “The Association expects an increased Garda presence in the main commercial and shopping centres, together with swift court action, to deter retail crime, and jail the offenders, rather than the revolving door policy of prior years, which had the perpetrators back on the streets to re-offend before the New Year sales.”
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