Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford says ram raid crimes are "definitely growing in significance".
"It seems to be becoming increasingly commonplace ... it's really distressing for the staff, the owners and customers of the businesses concerned.
"Businesses are looking at how they can harden up their defenses. Can they put bollards outside to stop cars ramming into them and so forth. But one of the problems with that, of course... it means that the bad guys might be moving their attention to other stores.
"What we really need to see is some social change where people come to accept and understand that it's just not the way we want to live - in a world where people can drive cars into retail stores, often causing tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage."
Harford said he does not believe the apparent rise in ram raids is a result of poverty.
"I think what we're seeing in a lot of cases is people either doing this for fun or perhaps have some sort of gang initiation ceremony.
"Liquor stores, in some cases, couple of bottles of something's being taken, you know, which isn't caused by poverty, it's being caused by some other social issues."