World’s retail sector incurs $115b loss due to theft

DUBAI — Experts on Wednesday discussed innovative ways to reduce shoplifting, which costs billion of dollars to retailers worldwide every year.

By Abdul Basit

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Published: Thu 30 Sep 2010, 11:56 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:18 PM

The Global Retail Theft Barometer (GRTB), the largest study of the cost of the shrink and crime in the global retail industry, found that the retail theft rose by nearly six per cent in 2009, costing the world’s retail sector around $115 billion.

Despite increased efforts to combat this problem, shrinkage as a percentage of retail revenues is still on the upswing.

In this regard US-based Checkpoint Systems, the global leader in anti-shoplifting, in association with its local partner Gulfdetection Trading Company organised a ‘Checkpoint Innovation Day’ in Dubai. The event was held for the first time in the Middle East and the emirate was chosen to host the event, as the Dubai is known as the hub of shopping in the Middle East.

The event was attended by top executives of Checkpoint Systems and Gulfdetection Trading as well as representatives of top retailers in the region.

“The main purpose of the event is to have a face to face meeting with solution providers and retailers who want solutions for their anti-shoplifting drive,” P K Chaturvedi, General Manager of Gulfdetection and Bhatia Brothers, told Khaleej Times at the event.

Bhatia Brothers, parent company of Gulfdetection, is one of the oldest group in the UAE. Gulfdetection is exclusive partner of Checkpoint Systems in the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

“Whatever innovations Checkpoint Systems has made during the last couple of years are being shared with our retail partners,” Chaturvedi said.

Dubai has become retail hub and one of the global places for shopping and retail so there is big business and on the other hand there are challenges through the pressure on the margin of retailers because everybody wants to have a better size of the cake, he said.

He said that two things means there should be pressure on retailers’ margin and one of the reason which is contributing to the pressure is shop lifting. It is invisible, but happening.

Material is going out and we call it shrinkage because inventory is going down, he said, adding: “For some reasons or others products are shrinking either it is internal of external lifting.”

He mentioned that high theft category includes shaving razor, blades, DVDs, ink cartridges, tooth brushes and cosmetic items.

To prevent shoplifting it is important to secure products properly and save margin, which is already under pressure, Chaturvedi said, adding: “And this is where Checkpoint comes into play.”

He said Checkpoint is the leader in anti-shoplifting security solutions in the US, Europe and even in the Middle East as the US firm is enjoying around 45 per cent market share.

He mentioned that top retailers in the region using these systems which include Al Futtaim, Al Tayer, Sharaf DG and other regional players.

Experts from Checkpoint briefed the participants about the products of the company such as soft tags, hard tags, labels, keepers, spider wraps, and new antenna etc. Phil Nutter, Global Manager Labels Range of products of Checkpoints System briefed about source tags for different products.

Joao Jardim, Export Sales Manager of Checkpoint for Middle East and Africa, said the company has presence in all major countries of the region with around 20-25 partners. Jardim mentioned that the UAE is at the forefront due to its impressive growth in retail sector. The country has a lot of big malls and some new malls are also under planning, he said.

“We are in the market for the last 40 years and our main target is to minimise risk of internal and external fraud,” he said. Electronic article surveillance is a technological method for preventing shoplifting from retail stores. The EAS system monitors the merchandise, not the customer. Special electronic tags are placed on predetermined items throughout the store, and surveillance systems are placed at store exits which sound an alarm when tagged merchandise is detected. This technology is quite widely employed by themodern retailers.

Over the last few years the UAE’s retail sector seen remarkable growth and has positioned itself in the global retail map. The country’s burgeoning retail industry is anchoring the UAE economic diversification efforts. Even in the wake of economic slowdown, the retail revenue collections registered impressive growth.

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