Shoplifting is up in 2011, and 10 countries have been pinpointed as the worst offenders. This year's Global Retail Theft Barometer -- a study from the Centre for Retail Research that measures 'shrinkage,' or loss in the retail sector resulting from shoplifting, employee fraud, administrative errors and organized crime -- surveyed 43 countries and interviewed 1,187 large retailers worldwide. It concluded that shrinkage was up $119 billion, or 6.6 percent in 2011. Over 35 percent of the interviewed retailers said actual and attempted shoplifting had increased last year. Almost a quarter of the shopkeepers registered higher numbers of employee theft.
The survey is based on the cooperation of large retailers, and, as its author Josua Bamfield tells the Los Angeles Times, its results are incomplete. Yet Bamfield says the results do accurately reflect the trend, scope and global ranking of the problem. The LA Times writes that retail industry analysts say the report's conclusions are consistent with their research.
According to the index, the highest risk sectors were accessories and outerwear, while few thieves were interested in fresh meat or cheese.
The lowest-ranking countries on this year's Global Retail Theft Barometer were Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Check out the slideshow below for the worst ranking countries.
Note: None of the people in the photos below are actually shoplifting! (As far as we know.)