Five-Finger Discount Problem Rears Its Ugly Head
“With shoplifting up six percent this year, retailers stand to lose a whopping $119 billion”
By Dell Hill
I told you so. Last
Friday this blog suggested that the problem of shoplifting might become
the worst in decades. It seems to be well on its way to that
prediction. And just look at what’s #1.
While most of us are out buying holiday presents some people are getting their gifts with a five-finger discount. Ad Week is reporting that one in every 11 people walks out the door with at least one item they didn’t pay for. With shoplifting
up six percent this year, retailers stand to lose a whopping $119
billion of merchandise to shoplifters in 2011. And it’s not just kids
with sticky fingers—75 percent of shoplifters are adults, most of whom
have jobs. We know people are hunting for holiday deals, but this
amount of theft is both surprising and sad.
Week spoke with loss prevention experts on why shoplifting is the
highest it’s been in five years. "Most shoplifters simply succumb to
temptation, “Johnny Custer, director of field operations for Merchant
Analytic Solutions, told Ad Week. “But add a sense of desperation
because of the economy and holiday pressures, and you have the recipe
for theft soup." Barbara Staib, a spokesperson for the National
Association of Shoplifting Prevention, told Ad Week, "Seventy percent of
shoplifters tell us they didn't plan to shoplift."
Exactly what are people stealing? Ad Week has compiled the top 10 most shoplifted items of 2011 and they’re truly bizarre.
1. Filet mignon
many people are tucking choice cuts of meats under their jackets that
supermarkets are now considered the stores with the most theft.
Those with an unquenchable thirst for booze just help themselves to a free bottle of expensive liquor.
3. Electric tools
Apparently the the most common items men nab are electric toothbrushes and power tools. At least they’re fighting cavities.
4. iPhone 4
like smartphones and video games are high risk items, and one research
group claims 100,000 laptops are stolen annually from big box stores.
5. Gillette Mach 4
who uses non-disposable razors knows they’re pretty expensive, so in
tough financial times people don’t want to pay for them anymore.
men’s deodorant and body wash we love to hate are often stolen in mass
quantities and resold at flea markets and corner stores. Dial is
popular amongst thieves too.
7. Polo Ralph Lauren
theft is up 31 percent since 2009. It’s hard to look good in a bad
economy, so some score fresh threads the illegal way.
8. Let’s Rock Elmo
Sesame Street toy topped the Toys’R’Us "Hot Toys" list this year, so
parents are stealing this must-have toy for their kids if they can’t
9. Chanel No. 5
wouldn’t love a bottle of this popular woman’s fragrance? Expensive
perfumes make up nearly four percent of loss in stores that carry them.
Ad Week points out, some shoppers wear flip-flops into a store, try on a
pair of sneakers, and walk out wearing them. Sneaker heads will do
whatever it takes to score the kicks on their wish list.