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Zara has a problem with shoplifting

In the last period alone they increased by 27%.

Zara has a problem with shoplifting In the last period alone they increased by 27%.

Zara has a problem with theft. This is according to the British Retail Consortium, the trade association for retail businesses in the UK, which claims that in-store theft in the UK's 10 largest cities has increased by 27% in the last period. To counter this worrying new trend, Inditex has been experimenting with a new anti-theft system for its shops for some time, a process slowed down by some technical problems encountered during the trial. The problems are said to stem from the very nature of the new system, based on a tiny chip known as RFID designed to replace the cumbersome hard plastic tags on garments usually removed by checkout staff, which Zara staff in several countries have found to be ineffective against theft. In fact, according to those involved, this new technology could even facilitate theft.

«The in-store implementation process of the new soft-alarm system, which uses several technologies, is going according to plan, without any significant incidents,» said the Spanish group, whose plans called for the new system to be in place by July. Once implemented, the new system is expected to reduce theft by 60 percent, according to a Bank of America report that quoted Associated Security. Shoplifting is a problem that does not only affect Zara but most retailers in the UK. «It has become an epidemic. Unfortunately in the last year, we've had twice as many crimes,» said Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, during a speech on BBC Radio.

George Weston, CEO of Associated British Foods - the British multinational that owns Primark - agrees. A few days ago, he announced new security measures inside the fast-fashion chain's stores, including body-cams and an increase in the number of security guards and CCTV cameras. «Theft levels and antisocial behaviour in-store are up,» Weston told the Financial Times. «It will just continue to deteriorate unless the authorities responsible for law and order recognize the issue we’ve all got.» But in anticipation of a crackdown by the UK authorities, the big chains are doing all they can to counteract a trend whose causes are said to be the rise in organized crime and the now steadily rising cost of living in the UK.