However, one manager of a high street store has warned prices will continue to rise to cover the loss in sales as well as rise in security and insurance premiums.
High street clothing sales have faced a hard start to this year thanks to bad weather and the economic climate preventing people from splashing out on new clobber.
However, it seems luxury brands and the tech retail industry are facing more trouble from staff who believe they can earn an extra bob or two.
In its 2012 Retail Crime survey, the British Retail Consortium said the cost of crime had risen significantly by 15.6 percent, to an overall cost of £1.6 billion.
It said employee theft accounted for four percent of retail crime by cost, although just one percent of the number of incidents. However it pointed out there were 10.2 incidents of employee theft per 1,000 employees, almost double the rate of the previous year.
The average cost per incident also rose sharply at more than four times the previous year’s level. The average cost per incident of employee theft reached £1,577, riven by a larger number of high value thefts compared with recent years. The BRC pointed out that this was the highest level of average theft recorded for at least eight years.
“There has been more items going missing from our store rooms,” a manager for a high-end retailer told ChannelEye.
“It seems no-one is happy to have a job anymore. I think the rise is probably more obvious in the luxury brands sector with people wishing to buy items from designer stores but without the cash.
“By buying knock-off gear they are saving themselves money but what they don’t realise is that we’re also having to push prices up to compensate for this. It’s a vicious circle.”
Another manager for a fashion retailer blamed the lack of wages for the rise in crime.
“We’ve seen more thefts but we’ve not caught anyone out. It’s just things missing in our inventory. We still carry out the usual bag check at the end of the day and before breaks but it’s inevitable things are going to be swiped,” she told ChannelEye.
“Products are getting more expensive and our staff are coming in on minimum wage. Some see the opportunity to sell things on and get more money as a good thing. There’s no loyalty anymore.”
And it seems the tech industry is also faring badly. “With the economy the way it is we’ve seen thefts, most of which could have only been performed from inside,” one assistant at a high street tech company told ChannelEye.
“Gadgets make good money and at times it doesn’t suit us to claim on insurance for it. We’re tightening up our CCTV in warehouses now as well as bag checking a lot more.”