Theft to cost retailers $1.4 billion this Christmas

Retailers are being warned to be vigilant this Christmas following the release of new research that estimates theft will cost Australian retailers $1.4 billion in the six weeks to Christmas Day 2015, three per cent of total Christmas spending.

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), said, judging from past years, products consumers will likely try to get their hands on include petrol, batteries, cosmetics, and technology products such as smartphones, wearable technology and cameras.

“Christmas is a prime time for thieves, because with more people in shops it allows more opportunity to slip under the radar unseen,” Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said.

“Despite new and sophisticated technologies aimed at stopping these criminals, thieves are also becoming smarter and employing their own advanced techniques to commit crimes,” he said.

The risk of theft is not only present from shoppers, with internal theft from staff also possible.

“We urge retailers around the country to stay alert and on the look out for any suspicious activity instore in this busy time, whether it be from internal or external sources.

“Retailers should make checks to ensure all anti-theft equipment is functional, and beyond this, may employ bag checks at the exit to stores to ensure that shoppers do not leave with any merchandise that has not been paid for. All staff should also be regularly briefed on how to handle theft incidents should they occur.”

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