The proliferation of shoplifting in Portuguese supermarkets is on the increase, on the back of financial difficulties and rising prices, according to reports.
According to a report in Expresso, a number of supermarkets are putting anti-theft systems on basic food products, such as frozen cod or salmon, and even bottles of olive oil or cans of tuna.
Pingo Doce says that it has noted ‘inventory losses for unknown reasons’ that may be related to theft, with this situation especially noticeable in personal hygiene products, detergents and groceries, which has led to reinforced vigilance in stores.
Continente claims that, at the moment, the food items ‘most susceptible to theft are coffee capsules, chocolates and canned food’, adding that protection mechanisms in stores allow for the monitoring and reduction of the number of thefts.
The director general of the Portuguese Association of Distribution Companies (APED), Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, told Expresso that "thefts have been rising sharply, especially since the beginning of September and particularly in the large urban centers of Lisbon and Porto", pointing to milk and canned food as the most 'sought' products.
This trend is also supported by data from the Public Security Police (PSP), which reveal that in the first half of 2022, 452 thefts were reported in supermarkets and hypermarkets, an average of 2.5 per day.
If this pace is maintained, the volume of incidents would be at least 40% higher at the end of the year than in 2021.
Among the people who are caught in supermarkets taking food, many are elderly, as well as women taking food for their children, data has shown. An estimated two million Portuguese consumers live on less than €554 per month.
© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest Retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.