Self-checkouts are being targeted by first-time shoplifters

By: Trademagazin editor Date: 2022. 12. 15. 09:58

Self-checkouts are being targeted by shoplifters who have no previous criminal background, according to a study from Scanwatch.

Scanwatch said UK retailers had reported an 18% rise in theft in the second half of this year, while US National Retail Federation figures indicate that shoplifting has risen there by 26.5%.

In nine out of 10 of the shoplifting events, self-checkout registers were being used.

Amongst the most popular items to steal, alcohol and other premium goods, however shoplifters also targeted other staples such as bread, milk and cheese.

“This is clearly a new trend and a direct result of consumer goods price increases,” Scanwatch chief executive Saulius Kaukenas said. “The industry is used to a 2% shrinkage rate due to organised theft. Sadly, this rate is a given. “Yet in 2022 retailers saw an increase in ‘accidental’ first-time shoplifters – common shoppers who have no criminal background or major criminal intentions.”

In academic studies of theft, the increase in shoplifting from unmanned tills has been noted.

A 2016 joint US retailer and Leicester university study found that losses from theft at locations with self-checkout kiosks are at 4% – nearly double the common industry average.

“Self-checkouts often are the weakest link in retail security,” Kaukenas, added. “There is also a major psychological factor in play. There is a certain stigma to tricking a human cashier.”

In 2022, retailers also recorded a major increase in mis-scanned items – when unpacked goods such as avocados turn into onions, as well as intentional incidents, where not all items in the shopping cart are scanned, or product barcodes are switched.

According to a recent US shopper survey, 20% admitted to intentionally cheating at the self-checkout registers.

“The main reasons for this is most self-checkout systems simply lack the appropriate security measures,” added Kaukenas.

Charged Retail

Related news