Retailers should be bracing themselves for a surge in crime as new research by Checkpoint Systems predicts that £431.2m-worth of stock will be stolen in the run up to Christmas.
More than 105,000 incidents of theft will occur during this time, a rise of 206% on a normal four-week period.
Just under £3m-worth of stock is expected be lost every hour of trading on the year's busiest shopping day, Saturday December 22, in an estimated 687 separate incidents.
The products most at risk are alcohol, cosmetics, perfume, women's clothing and electronic media.
The research also found that during the Christmas period, the number of shoplifting incidents peaked on Saturdays, while throughout the rest of the year the peak was Thursdays.