Spain lost nearly €2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) to theft, or 1.33 percent of sales, according to the latest Global Retail Theft Barometer released on Wednesday.
In Europe, Spain fell behind just the Netherlands and Finland for the percentage of sales lost to theft.
The study was conducted by analysts from research firm The Smart Cube and retail services company Checkpoint Systems. Researchers conducted interviews with more than 200 retailers across 24 countries worldwide.
The average rate of “shrink” – losses due to shoplifting, fraud or administrative errors – worldwide was 1.23 percent.
Mexico topped the charts worldwide, at 1.68 percent. Norway had the lowest rate among the countries surveyed at 0.75 percent.
In Spain, the cost of retail crime and its prevention amounts to about 2.21 percent of store overhead, or about €4.14 billion across the country – the equivalent of €238 for each Spanish family.
Still, thefts have declined in Spain in recent years with the Interior Ministry reporting a drop of 5.16 percent between 2013 and 2014.
The theft barometer also showed that the percentage of revenue lost to theft decreased this year, down from 1.36 percent in 2014.
The biggest cause of loss was shoplifting, at 52 percent. Administrative errors was the second greatest cause at 25 percent, followed by employee theft at 18 percent. Fraud by suppliers accounted for 5 percent.
The clothing items stolen most were shoes, lingerie, sunglasses and handbags while smartphones were some of the most stolen electronic items.
Top ten countries by percentage of shrink (2014-2015)
1. Mexico – 1.68%
2. The Netherlands – 1.48%
3. Finland – 1.38%
4. China – 1.35%
5. Japan – 1.35%
6. Spain – 1.33%
7. United States – 1.27%
8. Sweden – 1.20%
9. Belgium – 1.19%
10. Russia – 1.18%