Centre for Retail Research (CRR) has released a report that estimates a loss of £522m through shoplifting during this Christmas season in UK.

Along with the losses of £431m through employee theft and £47m through distribution, the national retailers might accumulate total losses of over £1bn during the course of the six week period from the middle of November to the end of December.

The reports show a 3.4% year-on-year increase in fraudulent losses for the retailers.

Commenting on the report CRR director Professor Joshua Bamfield has said that the Christmas season allows criminals to steal high-valued products from busy stores.

"As a result, retailers face a big threat from professional and semi-professional thieves, many of whom steal goods with the intention of re-selling them," added Bamfield.

CRR’s study report also predicts similar losses of €5.8bn in Europe and $8.9bn in the US.

Among European nations, Ireland being a smaller economic market is predicted to suffer most with total losses of £67.2m.

According to the report the merchandise that are most likely to be stolen includes alcohol, women’s clothing and fashion accessories, toys, perfume and health and beauty gift packs, electronic devices such as smart phones and tablet computers.

"Organised retail crime is a major concern for retailers – especially since the average amount stolen per incident is much higher than normal thefts," concluded Bamfield.