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The economic and social impacts of retail crime
The retail industry is heavily impacted by crime which exposes the sector to critical economic and social impacts and results in a significant monetary and human cost.
The National Retail Association is calling on Government to better support the sector to manage and prevent these issues through a range of policy reforms and initiatives.
Retail crime impacts the health and wellbeing of Aussie workers. In a recent survey, NRA found that 85% of retail workers said they had experienced some form of abuse while trying to prevent crime. Crimes range from shoplifting to armed robbery, from verbal abuse to sexual harassment, from stalking to being attacked leaving work. It should also be noted that Australian retail is one of the largest employers of women and the largest employer of youth.
Retail crime costs the economy. The industry estimates that retail theft, both external and internal, is costing Australian businesses up to $9 billion each year. In a recent survey, the NRA found that 85% feel business profitability is affected by having to implement strategies to counter retail theft.
Retail crime hasn’t gone away during coronavirus restrictions. Retailers that remained open over the past few months report that retail crime significantly increased. Retailers report that crime is further influencing their decision to relocate or close, leaving some communities without vital retail stores. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of keeping retailers operating with many communities experiencing high shopfront vacancy rates as the economic toll escalates.
Retail crime rates are much higher than reported. Over 80% of retail crime goes unreported as retailers say they have lost confidence in police response and penal outcomes.
Retailers deserve support and protection like other essential workers. In a landmark policy platform, the NRA is calling on Governments to better support the sector to manage and prevent these issues through a range of policy reforms and initiatives.