Violence and abuse against shop workers has increased by 7% to 455 incidents a day this year, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
A BRC survey showed said the overall cost of crime to retail was up from £2.2bn to £2.5bn.
The survey found increased violence and abuse was the single most important issue for retailers with nearly nine in ten placing it in their top three issues.
This was followed by customer theft, nominated by eight in ten as a top three issue.
Prosecutions remain stubbornly low, however. Only 6% (6 in 100) of incidents of violence and abuse ended in prosecution and only 3% were dealt with as aggravated.
Views of the police response to retail crime overall have improved, however, with 40% now ranking it as fair or good, up from 30% last year and 20% the year before.
Nonetheless, this is well below the 76% positive response received in 2013-14.
Just under 40% of retailers regard cyber-attacks as a top three issue. Since 2017 nobody has reported a decrease in attacks and over the last year 54% reported an increase.
Over 10% of the budget for crime prevention (£160 million) was spent on cyber security.