G4S Secure Solutions (UK) (‘G4S’) is calling for retailers to be extra vigilant as a wave of new figures reveals margins are under increasing pressure as a result of a surge in shoplifting and declining sales volumes.
Recently published figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) highlight the worst fall in sales in 16 years while recently commissioned research from G4S reveals the average value of shoplifted items has increased by over 52% in the last 12 months.
With many households reducing spending as a result of a decrease in ‘real’ incomes, as a result of pay freezes and rising inflation, it appears unscrupulous individuals are turning to shoplifting to boost their standard of living putting a huge strain on retailers’ profit margins.
Customer theft accounts for the largest proportion of retail crime accounting for over 74% of all theft by value and is one of the hardest to control, given the need to encourage welcoming and open store environments that encourage crowd flows and browsing of merchandise. Research reveals over 2.1 million people (5%) admit to having shoplifted over the last 12 months.
Mark Wakeford, Managing Director Monitoring & Response G4S, commented: “Economic pressures are undoubtedly contributing to an increase in shrinkage which is putting huge pressure on retailers’ margins. With inflationary pressures showing no signs of abating and research indicating real incomes are set to decrease still further as a result of continued pay freezes and low incremental rises we can expect this trend to be exacerbated further. G4S is urging retailers to invest in greater deterrents, such as alarms and visual security presence, combined with greater employee education to help them identify shoplifters.”
Protecting premises and assets out of hours is key to reducing theft and can be managed proactively using a variety of security solutions including 24 hour patrol services, monitoring services, alarm response services and key holder services. G4S provides an integrated end to end alarm monitoring and mobile patrol response service to retailers which provides a fast security response following an alarm activation. For retailers where employees may be working alone and feel exposed when approaching those they suspect of shoplifting, lone worker protection services are available to protect a vulnerable workforce.