The Co-op has warned some communities could become “no-go” areas for shops due to soaring levels of retail crime.
The convenience store operator said crime in its outlets had hit record levels, increasing by more than one third over the past year.
There were about 1,000 cases of crime, shoplifting and anti-social behaviour in its shops every day in the six months to June, the chain said.
But it cited figures indicating police did not attend most retail crimes.
The Co-op said a Freedom of Information request had shown many police forces did not prioritise retail crime, with, on average, 71% of serious retail crime not responded to by police.
Co-op Food managing director Matt Hood said retail crime was driven by “repeat and prolific offenders and, organised criminal gangs”. In the worst cases, he said it could even be described as “looting”.