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JD Sports Moves To DNA Spray To Cut Down Theft Rate Other Retailers Set To Follow

Retail theft is surging in Australia with CE and small appliance retailers along with department stores investing millions in prevention, some retailers such as JD Sports have moved to use a unique DNA spray system to identify thieves.

Australian retailers are losing $15 million a day to sophisticated shoplifters, in Victoria which has one of the highest retail theft rates, in store theft increased last year by 38.7% growing from 20,309 incidents in 2022 up to 28,174, according to the Crime Statistics Agency.

As a result, JD Sports is introducing tagging sprays across its stores as it ramps up security measures amid the recent surge in shoplifting.

The sports retailer has partnered with forensic security company SelectaDNA to roll out the marking system which will initially be rolled out in the UK stores.

The tagging sprays work by leaving a synthetic DNA and a UV marker on property and criminals, which can then be used to link assets to owners and criminals to crime scenes.

SelectaDNA property markers contain thousands of microdots which allow Police to identify property at the scene in a matter of seconds.

Thieves can no longer get away with possessing stolen property when confronted by Police.

UV tracers are incorporated in SelectaDNA to make it easy for Police to find thieves who have been sprayed with SelectaDNA and property that has been marked.

JD Sports claims the measure will help them tackle the rise of “steaming” in its stores, where large gangs run into targeted locations, threaten staff with violence and then runaway with armfuls of stock.

JD Sports head of retail profit and asset protection Ian Williams told Retail Gazette recently that: “With the significant increase in retail crime, we required a solution to firstly act as a deterrent but also support the likelihood of positive arrests in what remains a challenging climate.

Products and boxes can be simply sprayed with a DNA coating.

“Criminals continue to evolve with every enhancement made in the security industry, however forensic marking takes things to another level which even the most seasoned criminal can’t evade.

“We continually look for new and innovative ways in which to support our colleagues and disrupt criminals and SelectaDNA offered something different in the fight against retail crime”.

Earlier this year Officeworks, partnered with Appriss Retail, a data and analytics solution provider, to reduce shrinkage in its 169 stores using Appriss’s Secure solution. The move came as incidents of retail theft surged by a reported 55.7% in Greater Sydney and Regional NSW between 2018 and 2023.

Appriss Retail provides AI-driven analytics and real-time, integrated recommendations to identify and mitigate theft, fraud, and abuse while shaping positive experiences for profitable consumers.

SelectaDNA products are also being used by schools, hospitals and businesses that own expensive and vital IT equipment.

The DNA Forensic Property Marking kit is designed for small, medium, and large size businesses.

It can also mark university departments and local council’s assets and equipment.

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