The Quebec Retail Council (CQCD) fears that the number of shoplifters is increasing and their behavior is becoming more violent. He points out that the equivalent of $1.8 billion worth of goods were stolen from its members in 2023.
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According to a survey of retailers carried out by the company AppÉco on behalf of the CQCD, losses related to shoplifting now account for 1% of total company turnover. This rate gradually increased from 0.7% in 2021 to 0.85% in 2022.
“To put these results into context, 1% of retail sales in Quebec would represent approximately $1.8 billion per year, or an approximate average of $50,000 per establishment,” the organization pointed out.
Additionally, more survey participants reported not only thefts but also thefts with assaults in 2023 than in 2022, indicating an increase in corporate violence.
“The impact of these thefts far exceeds the economic impact. Let's think about the climate of fear that exists among employees or at the expense of entrepreneurs in the face of operational failures in companies. These are significant consequences that must be taken into account for the overall wellbeing of the sector,” the CQCD said.
The organization mentioned that many retailers are trying to counter the phenomenon with various measures such as security guards, surveillance cameras or anti-theft systems for certain products.
The CQCD is nevertheless appealing to the government on this matter. “Assistance with employee training, subsidies for the purchase of security systems and public awareness programs would be promising measures that the Quebec government should prioritize, according to the retailers surveyed,” the organization argued.