The researchers found that shoplifting — or what’s euphemistically known as product “shrinkage” — jumped 5.9% in the past year at the more than 1,000 retail chains the group surveyed globally. In previous years, the increase hovered at 1.5% annually. Though the problem was documented across all regions, the steepest increases occurred in North America (8.1%), the Middle East (7.5%) and Europe (4.7%). In terms of total losses, retailers in North America topped the charts at $46 billion, followed by Europe’s $44 billion and $17.9 billion in the Asia-Pacific region. In North America and Latin America, store owners and employees were the leading pilferers; in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, it was customers who were swiping the most loot.
Reports have recently noted that crime has not dramatically increased because of the recession. For those who don’t think that stealing from an employer is theft, then they need to realize that retail theft is still theft just as stealing office supplies or not doing any work while at work.
The study shows that there has been an increase of people stealing items, not that they need, but just things that they want. Basically, this is not Jean Valjean from Hugo’s Les Miserables stealing because of hunger. These are people who are stealing out of greed. Businesses pass these costs along to the shoppers at an average of $436 to the US consumer and $250 to European consumers.
If you can’t afford it, then don’t buy it or steal it.