Shoplifting rises as staff take part

Thefts involving collusion of employees are responsible for more than half of missing stock, survey finds

DESIGNER clothes, jeans, shoes and underwear lead the way in a survey highlighting the most stolen goods in shops – and it also revealed that staff were involved in the theft of half of missing stock.

The survey, compiled by Checkpoint Systems and published in Le Figaro measures the gap between the products a supermarket or shop believes it has in store, and those which are actually there.

In total, stores lost €5.3bn (1.4% of sales) last year, up from €4.7bn in 2009 – a rise higher than inflation.

The director general of Checkpoint Systems, Patrice Bahuaud, said shoplifting was becoming increasingly professional, often taking place with organised gangs stealing products before or during their arrival at the shop, with the help of employees.

Such thefts were responsible for 56% of missing stock, the survey found.

“These groups know how the shop is protected and how to get around the procedures. They have often identified the products for value and connections with receivers. This is not the opportunistic theft of the average shoplifter,” said Mr Bahuaud.

Favoured products are fashion accessories, jeans, shoes and underwear, making up 3% of missing stock, but surprisingly large electronic goods came in second.

The most popular product is cosmetics, which represents 5% of missing stock, because of the ease in which it can be transported and sold off quickly.

Photo: Checkpoint Systems Inc.,® 2013. All rights reserved.