A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Shopper theft in local small business retail

Theft by shoppers is expensive for local small business retail. It is a crime committed with ease, as shown on the video footage so often captured. First, there is the browse.

Then, the pick-up of the product.

Next is the smooth hiding.

Finally, the exit having finished “just looking”.

Beyond the cost of the products stolen is the impact on the mental health of local business owners. Shopper theft hurts local retailers far more than they usually let on.

These images are from a video shared recently by a newsagent. In the video, the face of the ‘shopper’ is far more visible than shown in the photos I have shared.

More retailers are sharing video in the hope of tracking down the ‘shopper’. Once they are identified, reporting their details to the police is vital.

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  1. Glenn

    I believe the impact of theft on shopkeeper (inc staff) mental health is grossly under estimated (I have seen this first hand), and more shops need to post their videos online to try and identify the thief, but also to deter future potential thefts.
    We post video footage and still images of all thefts on a variety of local social media pages and groups and then report names and details to police.
    However sometimes the thief will make contact with us asking us to take the footage down, which we gladly do once they have personally visited the shop for a chat and to pay for what they took.
    I reckon we catch 75% of those that steal who somehow have to face up to their actions – either to the police or to us.
    People seem far more concerned about having their face in public on social media for stealing than they do about facing the police. We get many many comments about why would people steal from us because they just end up on Facebook – so there is a real deterrent factor as well.

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    • Reg

      Glenn, for comic relief, search “Gas Station Encounters” on youtube. (Warning. May contain some lowbrow humour and mild language).

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