The latest Retail Crime Survey from The British Retail Consortium has revealed that overall cost of retail crime in the UK has risen by 15.6 per cent in a year, with e-crime proving the most costly form of activity.
E-crime accounted for 37 per cent of the total retail crime committed in 2011- 12, ultimately costing the retail sector £205.4 million.
“This news reflects the changing nature of the threats that today’s retailers are facing. As brands struggle to compete on the High Street and leverage the online power channels to target customers as part of a multichannel approach, cyber criminals are also following the move online,” commented Simon Jackson, chief commercial officer at NetNames.
“Businesses need to actively monitor the internet and take action against those selling fake products online. This ensures that customers are protected, brand reputations are safeguarded and online sales are maximised.”
Within the technology sector, consumers are looking online to find the best deals on tablets, smartphones, PC and their components. As Amazon and other etailers frequently offer up tech goods at a cheaper price than bricks-and- mortar stores, consumers are getting used to hunting around the internet for cheaper and cheaper prices, leading some to fraudulent websites.
But it is not just e-crime troubling retail; robberies may have only accounted for 0.7 per cent of the total cost of crime, but the average cost per incident trebled to £3,005, from £989 when compared to the previous year.
One retailer, who asked to remain anonymous, told PCR that there was a recent break-in at one of their stores, in which the police suggested it was the work of a professional gang on the lookout for boxed iPads.
On New Year’s Eve, a group of armed robbers hit an Apple store in Paris and made off with goods worth almost a million Euros.
“The ability of PCCs (Police and Crime Commissioners) to balance the needs of the local community with the demands of serious and organised crime, especially offences such as e-crime and fraud, continues to present a significant challenge and concern,” said British Retail Consortium’s director general, Helen Dickinson.