Officers based in Glasgow city centre today warned criminals they would be brought to justice.
A dedicated retail crime unit is being set up by Police Scotland, with officers focusing on the city's Style Mile and shopping centres.
Six officers will be involved in the campaign, which runs from Friday, November 1 until Sunday, January 5.
Organised gangs and opportunist thieves will be targeted over Christmas and New Year crackdown.
The extension of the unit comes at a time when the city's biggest retailers have opted to stay open until 7pm on weeknights, in an attempt to boost business.
Chief Inspector Alan Porte, area commander for the city centre, said: "The message to anyone considering shoplifting is that they will be arrested and brought to justice.
"The unit is all about high-visibilty policing, reassuring the public that officers are on the streets, but also letting any potential criminals know we are there."
With hundreds of stores in the city centre, and the Buchanan Galleries and St Enoch Centre shopping malls, the area is an obvious target for criminals over the festive period.
Businesses lose hundreds of thousands of pounds a year to shoplifters, who are often stealing to order.
Figures obtained by the Evening Times show the number of shoplifting incidents increased slightly during the summer.
There were 557 incidents of shoplifting in the city centre in the three months from April to the end of June, against 552 in the same period last year.
However, the unit dedicated to tackling shoplifting saw a major reduction in incidents during last year's crackdown.
Thefts from shops in Glasgow city centre fell almost 20% as police got tough on shoplifters.
Figures obtained by the Evening Times show the number of shoplifting incidents in the city centre fell by 18.9%.
In 2012, there were 1567 incidents of shoplifting in the nine months from April to the end of December, against 1933 in the same period the previous year.
Senior officers are hoping for similar results this year.
Mr Porte believes the unit is the key to driving down the number of shoplifting incidents.
He added: "The shoplifting unit worked really well and that is why we have brought it back again this year.
"We will specifically target any problematic areas and stores, the places where officers are needed.
"It is vital we have police officers in the right place at the right time."
Glasgow is the second biggest retail destination in the UK after London, worth £2.4 billion a year, with more than 1500 shops, and 38,000 employees.
As reported in the Evening Times, retail chiefs hope later opening hours will transform Glasgow's shopping culture.
Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: "The city centre plays a significant role in Glasgow's leisure tourism industry as a whole, and it is important to see this safeguarded with the introduction of the Shoplifting Unit next month.
"Retail is at the heart of the city, and we welcome this move by Police Scotland to protect the interests of shops of all sizes at this important period of the shopping calendar."
Meanwhile, some retailers are investing in what they call "revenue protection", such as when Tesco started putting electronic tags on packs of mince in its city centre stores.
Others have introduced CCTV and store detectives to protect their stock.