London - Trading conditions are not getting any easier for retailers across the UK. Facing increasing competition from international rivals, discounters, and shifting consumer shopping habits retailers have another growing concern - shoplifting. Although the concept in itself is nothing new, a new survey from OnBuy.com, online marketplace, has found that shoplifting in the UK has increased 4 percent for the year to March.
Unsurprisingly, the capital city of London reported the most incidents of shoplifting, with London's Metropolitan police reporting the highest number of shoplifting offenses, 46,840 for the year to March, equal to 128 incidents a day, according to data from Police.co.uk. The West Midlands saw the second highest levels of shoplifting, reporting 19,851 occurrences followed by the West Yorkshire Police, with 18,491 shoplifting incidents recorded - an increase of 3 percent from the last year.
Shoplifting can be a very costly incident for retailers, as recent research from the British Retail Consortium found that shoplifting accounted for 500 million pounds (71 percent) of the 700 million pounds direct cost incurred from retail crime in the UK from April 2016 to March 2017. Clothing is the second most common item shoplifted in the retail sector (together with alcohol) at 15 percent, followed by cosmetics (12 percent) and electronic equipment (9 percent) according to statistics from the Home Office.
As the number of shoplifting incidents continues to increase and disrupt retailers, more and more businesses are investing in counter-loss prevention measures, such as CCTVs, mirrors, alarm systems, security tags and shutters.