Retailers stop complaining about shoplifting, for reasons

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Huh, so the short version of this is: “Retailers have stopped talking about shoplifting, now that they got everything they wanted from legislators”?


Massive retail theft is still a thing though, even if retailers may have leveraged the exact numbers. My local PD just made arrests, claiming recovery of $75,000 of Old Navy merch - you have to steal a lot of Old Navy clothes to get that much, and I don’t think the PD can do those tricks like weighing the whole plant, roots and all, when coming up for cash values for pot busts. I’ve seen shoplifters running out of stores multiple times, something I don’t recall ever personally witnessing before recent years.

More and more items are behind locked cabinets in local stores, too. There is zero chance the retailers are doing that just for funzies. Making it harder to put those items in your basket reduces sales, and it increases staffing requirements.

So, retailers may have exaggerated retail theft, but it is absolutely a real thing that costs them money, which ultimately costs us money. The only debatable issue is the amount.


Interesting. I somehow missed that RiteAid declared bankruptcy in October. That explains why the one near me closed. I’m in a mostly white community, but it’s also a mostly older community. Most of the housing developments here are 55+ communities. Even with that, I wondered why we needed 2 CVS’s, a Walgreens, a RiteAid, a Medicine Shoppe, and one locally owned independent pharmacy. All that for a town with about 30,000 people. Of course, the median age is 65, but still…that’s a lot of pharmacies. We do have two Dollar Generals and a Dollar Tree, though, so…that’s nice…


They cooked the books and then overinflated a problem which makes up a only tiny portion of their overall losses to cover their asses.

Statistically speaking, most retail theft is committed internally, not externally…

But this is yet another topic where people with unearned privilege will pontificate endlessly how unchecked greed and avarice on the part of corporate America is somehow not the core reason for such chicanery.


Thousands of items? That’s not shoplifting, that’s burglary.

Wholly different ecosystem.


A phone somewhere is ringing very loudly.


I don’t know about that second part. In my experience, they won’t hire more people to deal with that. They’ll just let it be an inconvenience. People cost a lot of money.


Shareholders will accept wastage and losses ahead of “investing in our most valuable asset, our people” as HR like to say.

Every time. Better still piss billions away on “AI” and pay for it by laying people off and use it as an excuse to lay more people off. By the time the con is over (there’s no business any more, the sky is burnt through) they’ll be out of there and never have to deal with the misery.


As usual, no attempt was made by either the media or the retail organizations to contextualize any of the information they spread. For instance:

Is stealing by employees more or less of a problem than that done by customers? Are the two conflated in the numbers?

Are the shoplifting numbers related to the lowered numbers of employees available on the floor at the retailers in their attempt to lower labor costs? If the store cuts $100,000 in labor costs and loses an extra $10,000 in stolen merchandise, isn’t that a net profit gain to the store?

What is the actual percentage difference (if at all) between physical shoplifting now versus the average over say, the last ten years?

Was there a spike during Covid when so many were unable to work?

It would be nice if reporting on issues like this at least made an effort to understand the whole story before regurgitating a one-sided report from the ownership.


It’s organized retail theft, which is how the numbers get so high. But it’s still shoplifting because the items were run out the front door brazenly during opening hours.

My local Target had three ex-military looking armed guards last time I visited, not just the regular minimum wage type loss prevention employee. Target is not paying for three armed guards just for fun. This kind of large scale shoplifting is still a huge issue.

Granted, collectively the biggest theft nationwide may wage theft. But that doesn’t mean that shoplifting hasn’t increased massively in recent years. I don’t see minimizing it as being especially productive. We can still hold corporations accountable for their various excesses without trying to pretend that retail theft hasn’t increased in recent years.

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No, no, you just have to be a very patient shoplifter.


They don’t need to. The company cites the undiscounted retail price for the merch, not their cost. That’s a bigger markup than weighing a whole pot plant.

How does it compare to wage theft?


I have similar anecdata, in that my town of about 23,000 people has 3 CVSs, a Walmart pharmacy, a Wegmans pharmancy, and maybe an indie (although I think it’s gone) all within spitting distance of each other. Seems excessive, but in the case of CVS in particular, all locations are understaffed, making the experience completely miserable no matter which one you choose. Seems like one location where they can actually fill your prescription in less than 48 hours and get it to you without being forced to witness at least one screaming match between surly customers and employees would be a better use of resources.

ETA: Since they are all understaffed, there’s usually nobody working near the checkouts, so you could walk out with half the store in your pockets if you wanted to. Don’t know if anybody does, but it’s another possible side effect of spamming locations every 100 yards instead of reducing the number and staffing them properly.


It’s more like: “the BS excuse that the executives were using to cover for their incompetence was no longer accepted by shareholders”. It became harder for the MBAs to claim that shoplifting was the cause of poor performance after politicians increased police presence and after a lot of money was spent on counter-theft measures and the losses continued.

What actually happened was that the executives opened up way too many new locations to demonstrate they were growing. This not only cannibalised their own per-store sales, but they couldn’t staff up properly in the midst of a seller’s labour market (“no-one wants to work!” – a companion BS cover stores), and each new store meant a new huge rent and overhead bill and inventory/stocking costs subtracting from the bottom line.


Yeah, the problem is that you are repeating the exact lines the companies were feeding us that this very post is debunking.


Oh My God Omg GIF

But… but… would corporations LIE about this kind of thing? Don’t corporations exists to serve the public? Why do you hate poor, innocent corporations!?! Oh WHY?!? /s


Easy answer:


It’s a conspiracy!


I hate Morrissey, but love the Smiths…