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Co-op extends use of anti-theft packaging

Co Op Dummy Packaging
Co Op Dummy Packaging

Co-op is extending its trial of anti-theft, empty, ‘dummy display packaging’ for targeted products on its shelves to deter rising levels of crime driven by prolific and persistent offenders.

The empty packaging will be used across higher-value products on its shelves frequently targeted by criminals for re-sale, in stores where there is a local issue.

Products include: coffee; higher-value chocolates, washing powder and laundry gels, with shoppers simply taking the dummy display case to the till where it is exchanged for the actual product. Co-op has previously used the anti-theft packaging in a limited number of stores, and expects it to ‘continue to become a more familiar feature in retailing’.

The convenience retailer also warned that this level of out-of-control, ‘consequence-less’ crime is unsustainable and could even see some communities become a no-go area for local stores, with many police forces not prioritising retail crime.

Kate Graham, Director of Operations, Co-op, said: “Crime in many communities is increasing, and it is known that repeat and prolific offenders and, local organised criminal gangs are driving serious incidents of brazen and violent theft in stores.

“It is an ongoing challenge for all retailers, and often a flashpoint for attacks and abuse towards our colleagues. Co-op continues to invest significantly in keeping colleagues and stores safe. This includes extending our use of dummy display cases to deter the incidents of ‘bulk-shoplifting’ or, ‘looting’, as it has been described, where criminals sweep products off shelves for re-sale.

“While we are doing all we can, we also need the police to play their part as too often, forces fail to respond to desperate calls by our store teams and criminals operate in communities without any fear of consequences.”

Co-op has invested more than £200M in recent years in colleague and community safety to counter criminal behaviour – per store this equates to four times the average convenience sector spend on security and safety measures.

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This website contains images and information relating to tobacco products. Please do not view if you are under 18 years of age.

This publication contains images and information relating to tobacco products. Please do not view if you are under the age of 18 years old.