Security Journal

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 19–33 | Cite as

Consumer Misbehaviour: Consumers' Perceptions of Shoplifting and Retail Security

  • Michele Tonglet
Research Article


Customer theft presents a major problem to British retailers, despite continuing investment in retail security. This paper uses a consumer behaviour research method to investigate consumers' attitudes to shoplifting, the effectiveness of retail security measures and the factors which encourage or inhibit customer theft. Of the 417 consumers surveyed, 32 per cent admitted to shoplifting behaviour, with seven per cent having shoplifted within the previous 12 months. The behaviour of the current shoplifters was influenced by their pro-shoplifting attitudes, a lack of moral concerns about the behaviour, social influence and their perception that shoplifting is a low-risk, low-cost crime. Recommendations are made as to how the attitudes of the shoplifters can be changed, and thus increase perceptions of the risks and costs of shoplifting.


Shoplifting customer theft retail security theory of planned behaviour Ajzen 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Tonglet
    • 1
  1. 1.Marketing Communications and Consumer Behaviour in the Faculty of Management and Business, University College Northampton, Park CampusNorthampton

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