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.
The Loss Prevention Research Council conducts more than 100 in-person interviews with active shoplifters each year. Much of what they say pertains to whether they see/get/fear a particular theft deterrent. Other comments and musings reveal unexpected thought patterns and rationales put forth by people who steal. What follows are direct Read More
Intentional torts such as theft require a finding of intent. However, at times, a finding of intent can be difficult to prove. Generally, it requires a retailer to prove that the alleged shoplifter possessed the mental state necessary to commit theft at the time of the incident.1 Absent a reasonable determination Read More
The 21st century posed a major conundrum for the retailers: how to fight online competition and improve brick-and-mortar store performance, and how to increase retail foot traffic without compromising store security and safety measures.
However, increasing the number of customers results in a heavier workload for loss prevention teams, which makes Read More
What is the role of retail loss prevention? What may seem to be a simple question has grown increasingly more complicated as various functions, philosophies, tasks, and responsibilities are debated by the LP community, those who we serve, those who support us in meeting our goals, and those outside the Read More
Just as online marketplaces made shoplifting worse by providing thieves with an easy avenue to sell their stolen goods, the dark web is raising risk by offering employees a venue for doing the dirty business of selling stolen information. According to a new report, the number of employees who did Read More