Retailers and experts are increasingly stressing the importance of designing out weak points in store to minimise the impact of theft.

RTC, a retail interiors specialist, said crime levels meant there was a clear driver for store owners to implement preventative measures.

Simply Fresh has installed RTC’s ProfitPusher 3 system in three stores to helps reduce theft.

It is an on-shelf equipment system that organises products and keeps them available for sale at the front of the shelf at all times, discouraging “shelf sweeping”.

Sukhjit Khera, co-founder of Simply Fresh, said: “Due to increased pilferage in our store in Coventry we have now installed new shelf organisers that reduce the ability for thieves to swipe whole shelves of stock in one go.”

Steve Gilbert, business development executive at RTC, said: “The walls of the dividers provide a natural barrier between products, meaning they cannot be swept off the shelf.”

The ACS said convenience stores had invested on average just under £4,000 each on crime prevention measures - from CCTV to external security and detailed staff training.

“Retailers’ response to crime in their stores must be tailored to the specific issues that they face, but we have general guidance on managing crime in our 2017 Crime Report,” said chief executive James Lowman.