Workers at distribution centres and stores are responsible for 40 percent of the total theft value across UK retailers, a new study has found.
Research conducted by Retail Economics and Thruvision finds the thefts have resulted in a loss of £3.2 billion.
The forecast for the overall theft cost to UK retailers this year stands at £7.9 billion, as reported by the economic consultancy.
The study reveals nearly 43 percent of employee theft occurs in distribution centres.
Two-thirds of the retailers surveyed revealed staff have had increased chances for crime within warehouses over the past decade.
Two-thirds of respondents said financial pressure due to the cost-of-living crisis has contributed to a year-over-year increase in theft by distribution centre staff.
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Additionally, a quarter of those surveyed said the type of product had changed.
There has been a shift toward smaller items, valuable electrical products, groceries, and clothing.
Thruvision CEO Colin Evans said: “That employee theft is a rapidly growing problem is not a surprise, but the scale of financial losses suffered by UK retailers in their distribution centres really is.
“What is even more surprising is that so few retailers seem to be prepared to deal with this very serious problem when proven technology solutions exist.”