Shoplifting costs retailers billions of euros


In most European countries the costs of shoplifting are stagnating, but in Belgium they are on the rise again. Especially supermarkets are a target. Belgian retailers lost 900 million in thefts, their Dutch colleagues saw double that amount disappear.


Supermarkets main victims

Belgian and Dutch retailers both lost 1.9 % of their turnover to shoplifters last year, making them the second hardest-hit countries in Western Europe. Spain leads the charts with 2 % of turnover lost. That is the shocking result of the study "Retail Security in Europe".


In terms of locations, supermarkets received the hardest blow with 2.4 % of annual turnover lost to shoplifters, among the most popular items to be stolen are alcohol, meat, dairy, cosmetics, chocolate and candy. Shopping centres and fashion stores are a close second and third as targets.


On top of the 900 million, Belgian retailers spent 400 million fighting shoplifters: that makes a total bill of 1.3 billion - meaning each Belgian pays 119 euros to compensate for the costs of shoplifting, says Dominique Reumers of Checkpoints Systems. The Dutch even pay 139 euros per person on average, while the United Kingdom fares a lot better in this survey, with 'only' an average of 1.1 % being stolen.