Retailers should prepare for a surge in shoplifting over the Christmas period, a new report has warned.
It claims more than 105,000 incidents of shop theft will occur in the four weeks to December 24th representing a 206 per cent rise on a normal four-week trading period.
Goods totalling £431.2 million will be stolen from UK stores over the festive season, according to Checkpoint Systems.
Research by the firm, which manufactures security products, claims more than £48,000 worth of goods will be stolen per minute over the Christmas period.
Thefts are most likely to occur on a Saturday, it is reported.
Researchers also believe festive shoplifting will peak on December 22nd the busiest shopping day of the year - with the value of goods stolen from retailers on the last Saturday before Christmas expected to reach £26.4 million.
In addition to more thefts occurring over Christmas, the price of items stolen is also higher than usual.
Among shoplifters who are arrested, the average value of goods they have stolen is usually £77.95. At Christmas the typical value of the goods they steal rises to £85.71.
Commenting on the research, Checkpoint Systems UK managing director David Nuttall said: "Christmas is a busy time for retailers. Ensuring product availability, customer service, and adequate staff levels is crucial but in order to maximise profits, management must ensure security solutions are in place to protect stock.