Report Suggests Self Service Checkouts Encourage Petty Theft In Retail
A report of a study by two criminologists, Professor Adrian Beck and Matt Hopkins of the University of Leicester in England, has suggested that the use of self-service lanes and smartphone apps to pay for goods, encourages petty theft.
Between December 2013 and February 2015, the study examined 12 million shopping trips, at 8 different retailers in the USA, Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands. Of these shopping trips, one million were audited in detail and nearly 850,000 items, out of six million items checked, were found not to have been scanned.
This figure represents 4 percent of the total value of the purchases, or more than twice the average loss from shoplifting in retail. As the profit margin among European retailers is estimated to be around 3 percent, the study suggests that the self-service systems are more trouble than they're worth.
The report concluded that, where the scanning technology leaves the shopper solely responsible for completing the transaction, the absence of human supervision is creating a gateway for shoplifting opportunists.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Martha Sparrius. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.