John Lewis’s partnership discloses that it battles a £12 million surge due to shoplifting

John Lewis’s partnership discloses that it battles a £12 million surge due to shoplifting

John Lewis Grapples with Soaring Shoplifting Costs

Organised Crime Gangs Blamed for the £12 Million Increase

The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has revealed that it is facing a staggering £12 million surge in shoplifting costs, and the blame is firmly placed on the shoulders of organised crime gangs. Dame Sharon White, the chairwoman of the department store owner, emphasized that the recent rise in shoplifting incidents is primarily driven by “crime groups,” rather than being connected to the escalating cost of living.

Call for Legal Changes

Dame Sharon White’s concerns extend beyond the financial impact. The retailer has called upon the government to amend legislation in England and Wales to classify the abuse of shop workers as a criminal offense, aligning it with the existing regulations in Scotland.

High-Level Discussions with Metropolitan Police Commissioner

In response to the escalating issue of shoplifting, Dame Sharon White revealed that she met with Sir Mark Rowley, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. These discussions highlight the severity of the problem and the need for collaborative efforts between businesses and law enforcement to combat organised crime affecting retailers.

Retail Sector Unites Against Shoplifting Crisis

The retail sector, as a whole, is grappling with rising shoplifting cases. Primark’s CEO, George Weston, joined the chorus of voices calling for a more serious approach from police, prosecutors, and magistrates regarding the shoplifting crisis. He stressed the increasing instances of thefts and attacks on employees within his clothing retail chain.

Waitrose’s Efforts to Boost Security

JLP’s supermarket arm, Waitrose, has taken proactive steps to enhance security around its stores. Last month, the company began offering free tea and coffee to police officers to increase their presence in the vicinity of stores. The company’s increased costs stem primarily from theft-related issues and “related wastage.”

Industry-Wide Response to Shoplifting

Lidl, a German discount supermarket chain, has also acknowledged the growing threat of shoplifting. They are responding by ramping up security measures, including expanded CCTV coverage and the deployment of more body-worn cameras in their stores. Ryan McDonnell, the chief executive of Lidl’s British business, noted that this issue is a “social problem” affecting the entire retail industry, emphasizing the importance of collaboration between competitors and engagement with the government and police to address the crisis.

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