All convenience store owners are victims of shoplifting and abuse, says report

One hundred per cent of Scottish convenience store retailers have suffered shoplifting in the past year, according to a damning report, which warned that shoplifting is now “essentially a pandemic”.

The Scottish Grocers Federation report says that all shop owners have been targets of verbal or physical abuse.
The Scottish Grocers Federation report says that all shop owners have been targets of verbal or physical abuse.

All of the 1,000 shop owners surveyed by the an annual report from the Scottish Grocers’ Federation for its annual Scottish Crime Report, said they actually experience shop theft in their place of work on a regular basis - with 98 per cent saying it occurred daily.

The total cost of retail crime to the shop owners surveyed was more than £2 million - with each business forking out £4,000 for measures to try to combat crime in their store.

All of those surveyed also said they had been victims of verbal or physical abuse when they refused a sale - or asked for proof of age for a purchase.

SGF chief executive Dr Pete Cheema OBE said: “Our new report - which is now backed up by five years’ worth of evidence – shows that shoplifting is now essentially out of control and the authorities have simply lost their grip on it. Overall this is contributing to a very stressful working environment for staff.”

He added: “There is an ever-growing list of legislation which has to be enforced and policed by staff in-store and this must be taking its toll on health and wellbeing. The Protection of Workers Bill currently before the Scottish Parliament is a step in the right direction and we urge MSPs to support it.”

The Scottish Parliament Economy Committee is currently taking evidence on the Protection of Workers Bill.

The report said: “SGF’s Crime Report 2020 provides the latest data on convenience retailer’s experience of retail crime in Scotland. The SGF crime survey broke down in-store crime into seven categories: shoplifting, break-ins, violence against staff, armed robbery; store vandalism; verbal/physical abuse when sale refused, verbal/physical abuse when proof of age requested.

“It highlights that the implications of retail crime are far reaching, affecting the store owner, their staff and the communities they serve.”