10 DECEMBER, 2015: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is warning retailers to be alert for the possibility of retail theft, as the number of shoppers in stores increases during the busy Christmas shopping period.

Retail thefts, known in the industry as shrinkage, are expected to cost Australian retailers $1.4 billion in the six weeks to Christmas Day 2015 – three percent of the ARA and Roy Morgan Research’s total predicted Christmas spend of $46.8 billion.

Russell Zimmerman said that judging from past years, popular products for thieves this Christmas are likely to include items such as batteries, cosmetics, toys, and petrol, with technology products such as smartphones, wearable technology, and cameras.

“Theft is a serious problem for retailers, accounting for around three percent of all retail spend,” said Mr Zimmerman.

“Christmas is a prime time for thieves, because with more people in shops it allows more opportunity to slip under the radar unseen. Despite new and sophisticated technologies aimed at stopping these criminals, thieves are also becoming smarter and employing their own advances techniques to commit crimes,” he said.

The risk of theft is not only present from shoppers, with internal theft from staff also possible.

“We urge retailers around the country to stay alert and on the look out for any suspicious activity instore in this busy time, whether it be from internal or external sources.

“Retailers should make checks to ensure all anti-theft equipment is functional, and beyond this, may employ bag checks at the exit to stores to ensure that shoppers do not leave with any merchandise that has not been paid for. All staff should also be regularly briefed on how to handle theft incidents should they occur.”

Online retailers are also reminded to be vigilant, with the number of cases of Australian e-commerce sites being hacked and customer data stolen this year having increased significantly.

“Online is expected to be bigger than ever this Christmas, with the ARA predicting Australian shoppers will spend $2.8 billion online, which means we can also expect an increase in the numbers of opportunistic hackers looking to penetrate unprepared e-commerce operators.

“Security is of huge importance online given the level of financial and personal details entrusted by shoppers, and measures to ensure this information remains safe should be continually reviewed by e-tailers,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Earlier this week, figures by the NSW Government indicate that theft from retail from stores in that state has grown 5.3 percent in the two years to September 2015.

ARA ROY MORGAN PRE-CHRISTMAS 2015 SALES PREDICTIONS
November 15 – December 24, 2015

2015 Pre-Christmas Sales Growth by State

State

2014 pre-xmas

Actual ($mil)

2015 pre-xmas

Forecast ($mil)

Predicted growth

(%)

NSW

14377

14854

3.3%

Victoria

11174

11688

4.6%

Queensland

9200

9590

4.2%

South Australia

2945

3026

2.7%

Western Australia

5253

5393

2.7%

Tasmania

882

907

2.7%

Northern Territory

489

493

0.8%

Australian Capital Territory

815

824

1.1%

NATIONAL

45137

46775

3.6%

(ARA/ROY MORGAN)

2015 Pre-Christmas Sales Growth by Category

Category

2014 pre-xmas

Actual ($mil)

2015 pre-xmas

Forecast ($mil)

Predicted growth

(%)

Food

18545

18987

2.4%

Household goods

7839

8144

3.9%

Apparel

3436

3598

4.7%

Department stores

2901

3018

4.0%

Other

6112

6456

5.6%

Hospitality

6305

6573

4.3%

NATIONAL

45137

46775

3.6%

(ARA/ROY MORGAN)

For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, call the ARA Media team on 0439 612 556 or emailmedia@retail.org.au.

-ENDS-

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text.
0