Breaking News
Get 40% Off 0
👀 Reveal Warren Buffett's stock picks that are beating the S&P 500 by +174.3% Get 40% Off

Spanish supermarkets lock up olive oil as shoplifting surges

Published Nov 20, 2023 06:13 Updated Nov 20, 2023 07:21
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. Olive and sunflower oil bottles are displayed for sale, protected by a padlock and a chain to prevent theft in a Tu Super Suma supermarket in Malaga, Spain, October 23, 2023. REUTERS/Jon Nazca/File Photo
 
CARR
+0.39%
Add to/Remove from a Portfolio
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 

By Corina Pons

MADRID (Reuters) - In Spain, the world's biggest olive oil producer, supermarkets are locking up bottles of the staple cooking oil as prices surge and theft increases.

One-litre bottles of extra-virgin olive oil are selling for as much as 14.5 euros ($15.77) in some supermarkets, propelling olive oil into the category of products retailers fit with security tags, alongside spirits, cosmetics and appliances.

"We are seeing a major surge in shoplifting," said Ruben Navarro, the CEO of Tu Super supermarket chain, which operates 30 stores in Spain's Andalucia region. "Olive oil has become an ideal product for them to steal."

Olive oil prices, now officially at 8 euros a litre, have surged by 150% over the past two years in Spain as a scorching drought in the south has dented the olive harvest. Organised criminal gangs are stealing the oil to resell, Navarro said.

Since September, Tu Super has been chaining large 5-litre bottles of olive oil together and padlocking them to shelves to prevent theft.

"It is a crazy, extreme measure, but it has worked," Navarro said.

Tu Super is not the only one tightening security: in some Carrefour (EPA:CARR) and Auchan supermarkets in Madrid, one-litre bottles are fitted with security tags that have to be removed by staff.

STC, a Spanish company providing anti-theft solutions to retailers, saw a 12-fold increase in orders this summer from supermarkets for devices to protect olive oil bottles, managing partner Salvador Canones told Reuters.

Spanish police have also uncovered thefts of olive oil from mills and in October arrested two people as part of an investigation into the theft of 56 tonnes of extra virgin olive oil.

Families in Spain typically buy olive oil in bulk for cooking. Among the world's biggest consumers of olive oil, they have already significantly cut back: sales volumes of extra-virgin olive oil fell by 17% in the 12 months to September, according to NielsenIQ.

While thefts of olives and oil have increased especially, the measures by supermarkets also reflect a broader shoplifting surge. Spain's top business organisation, CEOE, said there was a 30% increase in repeated thefts targeting retailers in 2022, and a further 12% so far in 2023.

In Spain, thefts of items worth less than 400 euros are not punished unless it is a repeat offence.

Navarro said thieves are taking advantage of lower numbers of staff in stores and shoplifters' often abusive behaviour towards workers is exacerbating the labour shortage.

"Our own workers live in fear after the robberies... some of them even end up resigning from their jobs," he said.

($1 = 0.9195 euros)

Spanish supermarkets lock up olive oil as shoplifting surges
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email