A nation of shoplifters....

A global survey has given India the dubious reputation of being the world’s retail theft capital. “Shoplifting is very rampant in jewellery shops in Mumbai,’’ says Binit Bhatt, COO Treasure Jewellery, whose store was recently robbed. “Many thieves operate in gangs and don’t get caught easily,’’ he says, adding that he has augmented his security force after the experience. EAS (electronic articles surveillance) machines, dummy models of goods, CCTV cameras, security guards and other security spending by Indian retailers amounted to US $158 million, representing 0.19% of retail sales. After shoplifting, employee theft accounts for 23.3% of retail shrinkage. Store managers are now making sure employees are frisked each time they leave the store. “It’s easier to catch a shoplifter than your own staff stealing,’’ says Irfan Bhamla, owner of Beauty Palace, a cosmetics store at Crawford Market. The survey highlights that the amount of loss incurred due to employee theft is five times more than shoplifting in the Asia Pacific region. The most popular security resource is the human security guard, followed by CCTV cameras and EAS systems, says Dharmesh Lamba, country manager, Checkpoint Systems. The survey was earlier called the European Retail Theft Barometer.

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