Retail theft in Russia has increased by nearly a third over the past year, which has put pressure on large supermarket chains, the news outlet Shoppers reports, citing market players.
Store theft rose by about 18-20% in 2022, and the same growth rate is expected this year, according to security experts.
Roughly 130 thefts per store were recorded between February and April of this year, representing an 18% increase compared to the same period a year earlier, the outlet said, citing a company developing face identification systems.
About 1.5-2% of revenue lost due to theft is considered acceptable in food retail, while in the non-food segment this figure stands at 1%, market experts say.
However, this ratio has reached as high as 3-5% at some grocery stores this year, the CEO of the security firm Infoline, Ivan Fedyakov, noted. The uptick in shoplifting has been particularly noticeable in small towns. It is therefore increasingly commonplace to see anti-theft protection on expensive cheese, alcohol, and other goods, he added.
Western retailers have also been sounding the alarm over shoplifting as the cost-of-living crisis eats away at household incomes. Spiraling inflation and surging living costs – from shelf prices at grocery stores to power bills and mortgages – will drive up crime, experts predict.
The US retail chain Target has reported that damage related to lost or stolen inventory has reached staggering levels and will hit its profitability by $500 million this year.
Earlier Bloomberg reported that New York City, “the epicenter of the retail market” in the US, according to Mayor Eric Adams, saw a 45% increase in retail theft complaints in 2022.