Indian retail sector lost Rs 9,295.9 crore to shoplifting, theft

As per the Global Retail Theft Barometer Study, India also had the dubious distinction of the highest rate of retail shrinkage -- a reduction or loss in inventory due to shoplifting and theft -- in the world.

"Retail shrinkage in India continues to rank the world's highest at 2.7 per cent. Total cost of retail crime reached Rs 9,295.9 crore, shared at Rs 6,631 per family," according to the Global Retail Theft Barometer Study (GRTB).

The annual survey was conducted by the Centre for Retail Research in Nottingham, UK, and sponsored by Checkpoint Systems, a shrink management and merchandise visibility firm.

In India, 47.3 per cent of retail shrinkage was due to shoplifting and 26.4 per cent due to employee theft. The highest rate of shrinkage was seen in apparels.Globally, retail theft was estimated at Rs 4,98,000 crore (USD 107.3 billion) in 2010. This translated into just 1.36 per cent of total retail sales between July, 2009, and June, 2010, compared to 1.43 per cent in the year-ago period.

As per the study, the lowest rate of shrinkage was witnessed in Taiwan, at 0.87 per cent of retail sales, whereas the average rate in the Asia-Pacific region was 1.16 per cent.
Infant formula and alcohol were the products most stolen from grocery stores, while fashion clothing, accessories, health and beauty items were among the most shoplifted items in the Asia-Pacific.

The study said increased loss prevention spending by retailers globally contributed to lower shrinkage rates between July, 2009, and June, 2010.

Retailers around the world increased spending on loss prevention and security by 9.3 per cent to Rs 1,24,400 crore (USD 26.8 billion) in 2010, compared to the previous year.
"Even with the shrinkage decrease, retail crime cost the average family in 42 countries and regions surveyed an extra Rs 8,632 (USD 186) on their shopping bill," Centre for Retail Research Director Joshua Bamfield, who authored the study, said in a statement.
The study covers key trends in retail shrinkage and crime in 42 countries and regions across the world, including the US, China, India, Europe, Japan and Australia. Russia is included for the first time this year.

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