The idea that shoplifting could surge in the coming months is a cause for concern among some stores and retailers, but the evidence to support this fear may be running away from the facts. A recent survey among shop owners across the country found that the majority do not expect an increase in shoplifting. In fact, many reported that, despite tougher economic conditions, their theft rates had not risen during the recession.
One reason why shoplifting has largely stayed at its typical level could be that the cost of goods has not plummeted, making it harder for would-be shoplifters to make a buck. Prices have stayed relatively consistent throughout the year, leaving the average costs of items that shoplifters target, such as alcohol and electronics, unchanged.
Another factor that could be responsible for the lack of shoplifting is increased efforts to stop it. Store security cameras offer a new type of digital eye on customers, and in many cases, security personnel have been deployed to act as an additional layer of deterrence. Credit card payment methods have also become more prevalent, which eliminates one of the most attractive avenues for shoplifters since many credit cards have security measures that allow card owners to notice missing funds.
It should also be noted that the results from this survey, while informative, are not conclusive. It isn’t possible to tell the future from a few responses, but perhaps what we can take away from this research is that fears of shoplifting may be unfounded for the time being. With increased security measures and consistent prices of items, there could be a continuing trend of normal shoplifting rates in the coming months.