Shoplifting on the rise

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 21st April 2008

The current economic climate has been blamed for rising shoplifting figures. Theft from Australian stores has risen from 1.5% of revenue up to 2% since November according to the Australian Retail Association (ARA), costing retailers approximately $5.8 billion annually according to ARA CEO Richard Evans.

With two rate rises since November, coupled with rising food, petrol and rental prices, the financial pressure on Australians has intensified and Evans views economic hardship as the key reason behind the alarming data. “The retail industry is a barometer of bigger social issues and when you have people stealing the basic necessities like baby food and petrol, that says that people are really suffering,” he was reported as telling the Sunday Telegraph.

The greatest increase in shoplifting has been for basic necessities which supports the concern that economic hardship is becoming more prevalent. Razors and razor blades have been particularly popular with baby food, tinned food and butter proving to be the most popular food items.