Unfortunately for retailers across the country, not everyone is paying for their presents this December. According to a recent article by Adweek, one out of every 11 people who enter a store is going to steal something. Even more troubling? The fact that three-quarters of these ne’er-do-wells are adults—with jobs!
Studies show that most cases of holiday sticky fingers are completely opportunity-driven. "Seventy percent of shoplifters tell us they didn’t plan to shoplift," Barbara Staib, spokesperson for the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention, told the magazine. This means that the lifted goods have to be small (i.e. can be slipped under a coat or into a purse) and the perpetrators are far from hardened criminals.
Since shoplifting figures are actually up six percent from 2010, companies are increasing security around commonly pilfered items. See below for the top ten most stolen products (you might be surprised—we were!):
1. Filet Mignon
Customers are capitalizing on the luxury meat’s small, flat shape. Theft of prime cuts has risen 21 percent since 2009. C’mon guys, think about what happens if you’re caught. Do you really want to be the person is the freezer aisle who’s patted down for raw cow?
Liquor theft is a pretty common occurrence throughout the entire year (measuring a 2.9 "shrinkage rate" in North America), not just during the holidays, so this comes in second place almost by default. Experts put it "into the addiction category."
3. Electric tools.
Spinning toothbrushes and power tools, to be exact. Studies have shown that more men than women are guilty in this area, so ladies: beware that carpenter with super-clean teeth who asks for your number. Who knows the legitimacy of his methods?!
Frankly, we’re amazed this only comes in at number four. Small, expensive and something everyone wants, the mother of all smartphones is prime shoplifter bait.
5. Gillette Mach 4.
Razor blades are actually pricier than you might think! Replacement blades for one of these cost $23, which adds up fast if you are a man with quickly-growing whiskers. As Read Hayes, director of the Loss Prevention Research Council says: "In bad economic times, you’ll see more basic items stolen."
Sure it’s wrong, but have you seen the commercials for this deodorant? Axe causes scantily clad women with flowing hair to run up and smell you! And scantily clad women with flowing hair cause men to do stupid things. Like break the law.
7. Polo Ralph Lauren.
…with Tommy Hilfiger as runner-up! When stealing designer duds, people gravitate toward heavily-branded, well-known labels. This type of five-finger discount has increased 31 percent since 2009.
8. Let’s Rock Elmo.
He’s the hot toy of the year (Whatever happened to Tickle Me Elmo? Anyone? Bueller?), so parents are ready to do whatever it takes to make that magical moment for their children.
9. Chanel No.5.
Designer fragrances make the quintessential gift for a wide range of people, and honestly, what girl doesn’t love a bottle of classic No.5? Plus, many people see this as an opportunity to turn a profit: coveted perfumes are also easy to resell.
Much like the aforementioned Polo Ralph Lauren, people target these sneakers because of that iconic swoosh. Many customers will "try on" a pair and then bolt from the store.
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