The cost of living crisis has led to an increase in retail crime, with the majority of shops reportedly experiencing theft or violence in the past year. Figures from the British Retail Consortium confirm the number of shoplifting incidents has more than doubled in the past three years, costing in excess of £950 million. Both large supermarket chains and small shops are affected, with the Association of Convenience Stores recording its highest-ever levels of in- store theft over the last year.
A recent study by insurer NFU Mutual also reveals more than a quarter of shopkeepers reported incidents of violence directed at themselves, staff or customers. As a result, one in five shop owners are considering closing their stores for good.
It’s clearly an alarming situation. And as retailers grapple with the problem, Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre says the association is calling for immediate action from the government. Turn to his column on page 40 to find out how he believes retailers can also help reduce crime.
But amid the apprehension in retail, there’s good news as we approach the festive season. Tesco CEO Ken Murphy says he believes optimism is returning among shoppers as prices finally begin to recede, and that he expects this positivity to continue into the golden quarter.
With this in mind, fashion indies will want to make the most of the coming months to boost profits. If you’re looking for some inspiration, we have some great ideas throughout this issue from short order fashion and accessories to Christmas gifting. We also interview two new inspiring independents: 18-month-old luxury fashion destination MinimuMaximuM and very recently opened Dorset store Star Boutique (starting from page 39).
Finally, we have a limited number of places left for the Boutique Star Awards 2023 winners’ party. Taking place on Thursday 9 November at London’s May Fair Hotel, tickets cost £190 + VAT each and include welcome drinks, a three-course dinner with wine as well as a glitzy awards ceremony hosted by television presenter Hayley Sparkes (E: julie@ bpmedialtd.co.uk for more details). We hope to see you there to celebrate this brilliant and resilient industry.
Gemma Ward, Editor