Crime in c-stores cost independent retailers £232m last year, according to new research by the ACS.
Violence, shoplifting, fraud, burglary and staff theft cost each convenience retailer an estimated £4,600 on average across the year.
Theft is the most expensive crime, with total shop theft to the sector costing £131m or £2,600 per store. The most commonly stolen items are alcohol, meat and confectionery.
To counteract shoplifting, the average c-store spent almost £4,000 on crime prevention measures like CCTV and security staff.
“Over the last year, many retailers have reported a significant increase in the level of crime against their stores,” said ACS chairman James Lowman.
“There are many factors influencing this, including investment in crime detection measures such as CCTV and external security, which has led to retailers being more aware of the theft occurring in their stores. Unfortunately, the vast majority of what are perceived to be low level crimes such as shop theft still go unreported to police.”
The report also found there was an estimated 9,400 incidents of violence towards the owners and staff of independent shops last year.
“Retail crime harms businesses, consumers and communities while violent crime can have a devastating impact on the victim,” said minister for vulnerability, safeguarding and countering extremism Sarah Newton.
“This government is acting to tackle both violent and retail crime, by identifying what drives criminals and bringing together new research, techniques and technology to prevent offending and bring perpetrators to justice.”
Other crimes against c-stores include staff theft, which cost £61m last year, and fraud, which cost £8m.