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

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New Delhi: The Indian retail sector lost Rs. 9,295.9 crore to shoplifting and theft during the 12-month period ended June, 2010, which added Rs. 6,631 to the shopping bill of the average family, according to a survey.

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 worlds highest at 2.7 percent. 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 Center for Retail Research in Nottingham, UK, and sponsored by Checkpoint Systems, a shrink management and merchandise visibility firm.

In India, 47.3 percent of retail shrinkage was due to shoplifting and 26.4 percent due to employee theft. The highest rate of shrinkage was seen in apparels. Globally, retail theft was estimated at Rs. 498,000 crore ($107.3 billion) in 2010. This translated into just 1.36 percent of total retail sales between July, 2009, and June, 2010, compared to 1.43 percent in the year-ago period.

As per the study, the lowest rate of shrinkage was witnessed in Taiwan, at 0.87 percent of retail sales, whereas the average rate in the Asia-Pacific region was 1.16 percent.

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 percent to Rs. 124,400 crore ($ 26.8 billion) in 2010, compared to the previous year.

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