Opinions on Shoplifting and Retail Security Measures

August 9, 2023

Recently, retail stores in Canada have faced criticism for implementing additional anti-theft measures to deter shoplifting. From August 4 to 6, 2023, we surveyed Canadians to understand their support for various retail security measures and opinions on how shoplifting levels where they live compare to the rest of the country.



  • Canadians are most supportive of retailers implementing security cameras (88%), electronic anti-theft alarms (85%), and security guards (78%).
  • Canadians are least supportive of retailers implementing limits to the number of customers allowed in stores (32%), customers needing to leave bags in a locker/with an employee while shopping (32%) and/or requiring customers to show ID to make a purchase (17%).


  • 45% of Canadians think retailers are implementing the right amount of security measures to prevent theft, while 27% think they are not implementing enough. Only 10% think retailers are implementing too many security measures.
  • Over half (53%) of Canadians think that where they live, there is about the same amount of shoplifting as other places in Canada. B.C. residents are more likely to think there is more where they live than in other areas.


  • A web survey was conducted among 1,512 Canadians 18 years of age or older. Respondents had the option of completing the survey in English or in French and were randomly recruited using Leger’s LEO online panel.
  • The data was collected from August 4 to 6, 2023.
  • Technically, a margin of error should not be associated with a non-probability sample (Web panel in this case). However, for comparative purposes, a probability sample of 1,512 respondents would have a margin of error of ±2.5%, 19 times out of 20.
  • The results were weighted according to age, gender, mother tongue, region, education and presence of children in the household in order to ensure a representative sample of the Canadian population.

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