19 June 2023, by Victoria Séveno
According to research conducted by financial consultant Marshoek, supermarkets in the Netherlands saw a notable increase in cases of shoplifting in 2022, likely as a result of high inflation and a rising number of self-checkouts.
Research finds shoppers are now more likely to shoplift
Marshoek examined the customer numbers, costs (i.e. wages, energy bills, rent) and profits at 306 stores across the Netherlands, each belonging to one of six supermarket chains: Spar, Plus, Jumbo, Coop, Albert Heijn, and MCD.
As NOS reports, the research reveals that an average of 66.300 euros worth of goods were stolen from each individual store in 2022. This marks an increase of around 20.000 euros compared to 2021. Fresh products such as potatoes, bread, fruit and vegetables appear to be the most commonly shoplifted items.
Self-checkouts and rising prices lead to increase in shoplifting
Marshoek notes that there are two key reasons for this significant increase: the popularity of self-checkouts and the rising cost of living over the course of 2022. The research notes that, as the number of self-checkouts has risen over the years, so too have the cases of shoplifting. Indeed, a number of shops have even delayed plans to instal self-checkouts in order to combat this increase.
While self-checkouts and shoplifting go hand in hand, according to Marshoek, researcher Richard Kievit told NOS that last year’s record-breaking inflation rate cannot be ignored. According to figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the price of food rose by an average of 10,8 percent in 2022, with some of the sharpest increases seen in the prices of bread and grains (16 percent) and vegetables (almost 14 percent).
Thumb: Lisette Nijhuis via Shutterstock.com.