Shoplifting is costing us billions

Nov 09, 2012
Shoplifting is costing us billions
Dr. Gary Mortimer says shoplifting is costing Australia more than $10 billion a year.

(Phys.org)—Australians shoplifted $7.5 billion worth of goods in the past financial year, but a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher said the actual cost was much higher.

QUT School of Business researcher Dr Gary Mortimer said when costs associated with trying to prevent shoplifting were factored in, shoplifting cost retailers at least $10 billion in the last year alone.

He said the value of goods shoplifted had risen steady since 2007 when $4 billion worth of goods were stolen.

"Shoplifting is literally costing billions as both the cost of lost goods and the cost of counter theft measures are generally passed on to consumers," Dr Mortimer said.

"Many stores have now labelled goods covertly with alarms so they are activated as a shoplifter goes through an electronic gate on their way out of the store.

"More have been installed in shopping aisles, too, but the biggest cost is the employment of what are called loss prevention officers, staff who walk around the store spotting potential shoplifters."

Dr Mortimer said other hidden costs included loss of sales and the time it takes staff to prepare paperwork associated with shoplifting as well as increased insurance premiums.

He said there was no specific profile for a shoplifter.

"Shoplifters come in all shapes, sizes and ages, from school children to the elderly," he said.

"Shoplifters are motivated by a range of things from the opportunist who walks out of a store with an item because a counter is unattended, to kids who shoplift as a dare to the habitual shoplifter who steals probably each week.

"Then there are the professional gangs at work who steal large volumes of goods and sell them interstate, on or at markets."

Dr Mortimer said also appeared to play a part in the increase.

"As the cost of living increases some people feel they need to steal to put food on the table and petrol in the tank," he said.

Explore further: The tyranny of realism in energy planning

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EBay calls on EU to change luxury brand rules

Sep 17, 2009

(AP) -- EBay Inc. called Thursday on the European Union to change antitrust rules that allow luxury manufacturers to choose who can sell their branded goods online.

Recommended for you

The tyranny of realism in energy planning

19 hours ago

A report exploring the political economy of energy planning under democracy and the Integrated Energy Planning (IEP) process due to conclude this year was launched by the British High Commission, Project ...

Organising is the key to efficient purchasing

Aug 19, 2014

A well-functioning purchasing organisation is a powerful tool for companies. Chalmers researcher Ingrid Hessel shows in her thesis that internal purchasing operations affects and is affected by relationships ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rockwolf1000
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2012
Well... It is a penal colony after all. LOL