In-store theft cost Belgian retailers 900 million euros last year, placing the country in second place in the European ranking (western part), behind Spain.
As a result, each Belgian pays 119 euros more per year to account for the deficit, reports DH on Thursday, based on a Checkpoint Systems survey.
The survey - conducted by the American company Checkpoint Systems - notes that while the number of thefts is stable or decreasing in most European countries, this is not the case in Belgium. Last year, Belgian traders even saw a resurgence of the phenomenon.
The reasons for the growth include shoplifting, but also theft by staff and fraudulent acts by suppliers, as well as non-specific criminal acts.
"The high rate of in-store crime in our country, led by the provinces of Antwerp, Liege and Hainaut, means that every Belgian has to pay 119 euros more per year in-store, 30 euros more than the average European," said Dominique Reumers of Checkpoint Systems.
The Brussels Times