Shoplifters make off with goods worth almost £400,000 every day, British retailers said today.
The year-on-year cost of theft to high street stores up and down the country has soared from £99m to £137m. Items worth £375,342 are taken from the shelves every day.
Retailers suspect organised gangs of thieves who steal more valuable hauls are responsible for the rising figure. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the average price tag of goods stolen in one theft has increased from £45 to £70.
The figures were based on a survey of 54 retailers who represent almost half of Britain's retail turnover. Researchers uncovered an 11 per cent fall in crime compared with the previous year. The BRC's Stephen Robertson said the fall in offences reflected the increased investment of stores in security measures.