To shoplift is to knowingly obtain goods or merchandise from an establishment in which they are displayed for sale, without paying the purchase price. This act can include carrying, hiding, concealing, or otherwise manipulating merchandise with the intent to steal it.
Shoplifting issues are the most common contributors to external shrink, having developed into a multibillion-dollar problem that ultimately affects each and every one of us. Not only do these losses affect a company’s bottom line in a variety of different ways, but they also impact us as consumers in the form of higher prices, fewer choices, greater inconveniences, and a reduction in services as businesses attempt to find ways to fight external theft incidents and recover damages.
Shoplifters are not bound by age, gender, race, social background, or any other traits that make us unique and distinctive as human beings. This type of theft isn’t always based on need, and many different incentives may influence the motivation to steal. While every situation has its own merits, the motivations for shoplifting can be as different as the individual.
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Unfortunately, many amateur shoplifters fail to think through the potential consequences of their actions, or misjudge the potential risks of being caught, and make a poor decision. And for the professional shoplifter, their evaluation of risk and reward is based on different motives. Rather, the decision to steal has more to do with the availability, accessibility, demand for and value of the merchandise. When the attraction of the merchandise is coupled with the opportunity to take the items for profit or gain, they see the risk as justified.
Opportunity is often a primary element in the formula for theft. This is also the type of theft motivation that loss prevention professionals have the greatest probability of deterring, and is often at the center of many of training and awareness programs. By providing good customer service and maintaining appropriate controls, many of the opportunities for shoplifting and theft can be eliminated.
A man accused of killing a loss prevention officer at a Walmart in Lilburn, Georgia, last year will spend life in prison after he pleaded guilty to the crime on Monday, city police said. Boaz Anthony Fordyce entered the plea on charges that he murdered JD Ferguson by shooting him Read More
Suggestive of their ability to fight back against a wave of shoplifting decriminalization efforts, the broader retail and loss prevention communities will likely be keeping an eye on a new state ballot initiative campaign in California.
The effort aims to modify Proposition 47, which passed in 2014 and raised the felony-shoplifting Read More
Last month, the first book on analytics for loss prevention was released, Essentials of Modeling and Analytics: Retail Risk Management and Asset Protection. The book explores the relationship between criminology theory, analytics and loss prevention. In a series of articles for LP Magazine, the authors will highlight a few thought-provoking Read More
There have been news stories and lawsuits recently focusing attention on long-simmering complaints about the treatment of minorities by large retailers (see: Giant Tiger; Ferragamo). What can organizations do to avoid claims of racial profiling in retail stores?
To start, retailers should have clearly defined and articulated policies against racial profiling Read More
What started as a shoplifting incident ended with the tragic death of a high-ranking Yonkers, New York, politician’s family member. Jonathan Maldonado, the 21-year-old nephew of Yonkers City Council President-elect Mike Khader, was accused of stealing from BestBuy in Greenburgh on Wednesday evening and swallowed an unknown type of drug Read More