December 4, 2023

More shoplifting – other products are also stolen

The number of shoplifting is currently increasing, and due to inflation, thieves are suddenly focusing on new products.
Alliance Photos/Zonar | Robert Kneschke

The number of shoplifters is increasing in the USA, Great Britain and Germany – some people attribute this to inflation.

The increase in Germany is a return to normality after falling numbers during the pandemic, says an expert from the EHI Retail Institute.

However, inflation has an impact on stolen products. Basic foods are now more likely to be affected.

Prices are rising – In addition to gas and electricity, many foods are also affected by hefty surcharges. But does higher inflation also lead to more shoplifting?

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First of all, today’s inflation data: According to economists, the inflation rate fell below 5 percent in September

The number of shoplifting is increasing

According to the British and American Retail Associations, the number of shoplifting cases has risen dramatically, Deutsche Welle reports. In the discussion, a frequent link is made to the rising cost of living. Also in Germany, the number of shoplifting operations rose significantly compared to the previous year, Frank Horst of the EHI Retail Institute told DW. Reported shoplifting cases have increased by 30 percent, an EHI Retail Institute study showed this summer.

More thefts due to inflation?

However, Frank Horst does not believe that inflation is the cause of this increase. He told DW that there was an artificial decline during the pandemic because many stores were not open. He explains the increase as follows: “What seems dramatic at first is actually just a return to normalcy.” If inflation has an impact, it will be reflected in next year’s polls, DW wrote.

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Emphasis is placed on new products

Horst told DW that there is evidence that inflation in Germany affects shoplifting behaviour. There is a change in theft behavior – products that were previously not of interest are increasingly being stolen.

Inflation means that people will not steal more overall, they will steal differently. The new target is basic foods such as cheese, meat and sausages. “You can assume that this also has to do with inflation and the rising prices of these products. So more people are stealing these products rather than buying them.