Shopkeepers are feeling isolated in their fight against crime, according to a survey published by the British Retail Consortium.
They accuse police and the government of not doing enough to tackle thieves.
A survey of 10,054 outlets conducted by the BRC found retail staff felt “abandoned” by the authorities.
Nine out of 10 retailers believe shop crime is low on the government’s agenda, while 77% say police response times are not good enough.
BRC director general Kevin Hawkins said an increase in shop crime was caused by weak penalties and poor enforcement of the law.
Retailers call for crime action