John Lewis and Waitrose to combat shoplifting surge with new security measures

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The new measures include enhanced CCTV and adding public display monitors near high-value items and locking trolleys for unpaid items



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28 June 2024

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John Lewis and Waitrose attribute record levels of shoplifting to greed and are implementing new measures to curb retail crime.

According to Retail Gazette, the John Lewis partnership is enhancing CCTV, adding public display monitors near high-value items like alcohol and meat, and locking trolleys for unpaid items.

Shoplifting in England and Wales hit a record high in 2023, with more than 430,000 offences, according to the Office for National Statistics.

A growing problem

“Shoplifting and retail crime have been a growing problem across the industry . . . we wanted to see what was the cumulative effect of doing more than one thing,” said Lucy Brown, director of central operations and security of the John Lewis partnership, to the Financial Times.

Brown said to the Financial Times that there is a narrative around the cost of living and that is causing the uptake in shoplifting. “I’m not seeing that,” said Brown, describing it as ‘absolute greed’ and not need. 

“We still deploy mirrors in certain areas because they show stuff like ‘quiet corners’ — but they absolutely work in terms of deterring people from shoplifting.”

Dame Sharon White, chair, John Lewis, said: “It feels like in the last year we have moved from putting an extra six eggs in the shopping basket you haven’t paid for to organised gangs shoplifting to order in a way I find profoundly shocking.”

Read more: CSNA and RGDATA highlight extent of shoplifting to Joint Oireachtas Committee



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