PEAK retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association has urged Gympie retailers to remain vigilant and focus their attention on security.
So far this year Gympie police have investigated almost 40 shoplifting offences, and across Australia retail theft costs $7.5 million a year.
This represents 3% of Australia's $243 billion annual retail turnover.
Big W is a common target for shoplifters, a spokesman for the Gympie store said yesterday.
ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said retailers were busy people, but simply writing off the problem gave in to thieves.
That's why the ARA has set up a free Preventing Retail Loss and Financial Risk online training course for retailers.
"Prevention is the best remedy for combating the financial risk posed by retail theft and this joint industry-government initiative offers the convenience of a handbook offering useful guidance as well as the self-paced online training for retailers ranging from shop floor employees through to store managers and owners," Mr Zimmerman said.
"The 30-minute online training module puts retailers back in control of their stock and will enable them to work to prevent in-store theft, understand the benefits of investing to deter theft and determine how loss impacts on financial performance.
"It's also important for retailers to be cautious when accepting returns and exchanges as savvy thieves in the US are using fake receipts or returning merchandise that was stolen or purchased with counterfeit money.
Retailers who would like a copy of the free Preventing Retail Loss and Financial Risk resource, or to learn more about the free loss prevention online training course, contact the ARA Retail Institute on 1300 368 041 or email email@example.com.