Shoplifting is spiralling out of control
We reported late last year that shoplifting rates have doubled in recent years.
And the problem is getting worse and worse, according to Bergur Robert Dam Jensen, chairman of the Retailers’ Association.
“This has become such a big problem now that it is starting to erode the foundations of our retail industry. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for retailers to do what they are supposed to be doing: providing a good customer service.”
A complex issue
He believes the shoplifting problem is bigger here than in our neighbouring countries.
“We have a smaller customer base, and we often know the customers personally. This is not easy because we obviously don’t want our customers to feel they are under surveillance in our stores,” he says.
A problem across the country
He adds that the problem is equally troublesome in large cities and small villages.
“Shoplifting takes place in large and small stores alike, and the stolen items range from single lollipops to electronic devices worth thousands of krónur,” he explains.
“In larger stores there are more blind spots for shoplifters to operate in. But the smaller stores also suffer, firstly because the relationship between sales staff and customers is often quite close and, secondly, because the stealing eats more out of their relatively smaller profit margins."
Information is key
Jensen believes the only solution is better information.
“Since many shoplifters are young people, information campaigns in schools could be a good place to start,” he says.
“We need to get the message out about the consequences, not only for the shoplifters but also how it affects the stores.”
The Retailers’ Association is planning meetings with its members about how to deal with this growing problem.
“We need to find ways of reducing shoplifting while also teaching our sales staff how to deal with such situations without creating an air of constant suspicion in stores.”
Read the Faroese version of this article here.
English version by prosa.fo.
More Faroese News in English.