What Is The Most Common Stolen Items From Supermarket Theft?
18th November 2022
According to Statista, in the 2021/22 period, the number of shoplifting offences in England & Wales has been reported at 274,999 – a sharp increase from 227,983 during the 2020/21 period.
With the current cost of living crisis and rapid price inflation, supermarket thefts have also unfortunately seen a sharp rise by 22% according to Grocery Gazette.
But what are the most common stolen items people are stealing from supermarkets and how can you protect your supermarket or retail environment from theft? We’ll be exploring these factors in today’s article.
Most Common Stolen Items From Supermarkets
Below are listed some of the most common items stolen from supermarket shelves and the applications for the stolen items
1 – Packed Meat
This category includes the likes of steak, lamb and bacon stolen by shoplifters in supermarkets – these meats are often both expensive and in high demand, enterprising thieves may try to fence them in a variety of methods such as by selling them from door-to-door or even in pubs and clubs.
2 – Razor Blades
Razor Blades also may make an easy target for thieves as they are A – easy to smuggle under clothes due to the small size of the item and B – are expensive and in regular demand.
3 – Alcohol
Although any alcoholic product may catch the eyes of criminals, particularly popular items are more expensive alcohol such as Prosecco, Whisky, Champagne & Gin. These items are often available to sell to a ready market who may want to stock up on expensive drinks cheaper.
4 – Beauty Cosmetics
These include the likes of make-up and lipsticks and are often stolen either for personal use or to gift others at seasonal times such as birthdays or Christmas. Also, as they are usually small, they can easily be tucked away in pockets and backpacks, etc.
5 – Cheese
Perhaps a more unusual item to steal, as of 2009 cheese was the most stolen supermarket item throughout UK and Europe – research suggests it may be stolen for its resale value but with the recent cost of living crisis, many people may be stealing the product through desperation.
6 – Branded Deodorants
Under-arm deodorants are often always popular and may be a particularly easy bulk theft for shoplifters by sweeping a fixture with a forearm to steal multiple products at once.
7 – Batteries
The market for batteries will always remain lucrative as many electronics throughout homes require them, being particularly in small packets also makes them a very easy picking for thieves.
8 – Clothing Accessories
Included in this category is the likes of scarves, handbags, purses and gloves. Although some of these items may be particularly hard to steal due to size, fashionable accessories will always have a ready market.
9 – Coffee
You may also think this coffee is particularly unusual for a supermarket theft but being relatively expensive, this item is popular for resale and always in regular demand whereas it’s counterpart of regularly packeted tea I often cheap and not worth the risk for thieves to steal.
10 – Baby Clothes
Perhaps more upsetting is that many may turn to stealing baby clothes out of desperation to keep their children warm but for professional thieves, baby clothing is a huge potential market for growing babies that regularly need larger and multiple sets of clothes.
11 – Jeans
These items are often stolen in bulk due to the ease of selling them on and remain popular due to the widespread fashion appeal.
12 – Perfume & Fragrance
Unsecured perfumes and fragrances are also an easy pick for career thieves with the products being relatively small yet fetching a large price tag on the market.
Other common items that are stolen include but are not limited to small electronic goods and accessories, sport fashion items and box set DVD & games.
Reason For Theft In Supermarkets
The reasons people may decide to take part in supermarket theft can vary.
As previously touched upon, one key reason for the 22% rise in thefts supermarkets are now experiencing may be due to desperation from the cost of living crisis – people who steal low-cost food and essential goods often do so out of necessity to feed either themselves or their family instead of purely to make a profit.
However, professional thieves still exist in the supermarket theft sphere and will likely steal from stores to make a profit by stealing high-cost goods that we’ve previously explored in order to sell to a black market.
How Can Retailers Prevent Theft In Supermarkets?
Supermarkets can make reasonable steps themselves to help prevent theft of goods including –
- Secure at-risk, high value items using electronic security tags or behind lock and key or a till.
- Optimise store lay-out to help deter shoplifters
- Put up warning signs as a deterrent
How Retail Security Solutions Can Prevent Theft In Supermarkets
By far one of the best ways to help prevent theft in a supermarket setting is by hiring dedicated Retail Security services.
Retail Security solutions including the likes of uniformed guards acting as a powerful visual deterrent against theft, good CCTV coverage throughout stores and even plain clothes store detectives keeping an eye on unsuspecting yet suspicious individuals throughout the shopfront.
Solutions such as these are effective to prevent the active and potential theft of supermarket goods and may be an excellent investment for any store, especially when ifsec global reports shoplifting costs the UK economy £1.4 billion annually.
If you want to learn more in depth about Retail Security, why not read our article?
In conclusion, we’ve covered some of the most common items stolen in supermarket theft and the reasons for stealing these items.
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