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Top 5 items most likely to be shoplifted this holiday season

(MARKETING NEWS) With the holiday season rapidly approaching, it’s also shoplift season. If you have a retail store, or are just curious, you’ll want to take a look at this list.

shoplift shoplifting holidays

Shrink happens

While shoplifting certainly isn’t a new phenomenon, it is a costly one. Shoplifters have been targeting retailers and other businesses since the first business opened.

Shoplifting has a tendency to increase around the holiday season for several different reasons: increased traffic to the store means more cover for shoplifting and better goods to choose from, rationalizing the shoplifting by saying “if I don’t do this, the kids won’t have Christmas,” and just a general increase in the need to snatch up the more costly holiday goods without paying for them.

Where does shrink come from?

According to a study by Checkpoint, approximately 37 percent of a store’s annual shrink loss happens during the holiday season.

The shrink is the amount of money companies should receive from sales, minus what do not receive from things like theft (be it from shoplifters or employees), fraud, and damages. 37 percent is a pretty high number for retailers to try to recover from and if you own a retail business there are five items that shoplifters tend to target during the holiday season; so you may want to keep an extra close eye on these items to minimize your losses.

Keep your eyes peeled

The five items that shoplifters most often covet during the holiday season are:

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1. Apparel: high end items such as designer and leather outerwear, hats, dresses, and gloves

2. Children’s toys

3. Electronics: tablets, cell phones, TVs, games, game consoles, and the like

4. Electronic accessories: cell phone cases, cords, docks, and battery packs

5. Luxury food*: holiday-themed items like chocolate, steak, and alcohol all made the list

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*While this wasn’t listed on the U.S list, it was on nearly every list for the other 13 markets in the study.

Varies by region

The most interesting thing about this study is how differently each geographic area is in terms of which items are most likely to be stolen. In nearly all areas, some type of food or beverage item is listed. In some areas, there are only one or two items listed, others more than five. In many markets children’s toys are listed, in others there’s nothing but adult items.

What do you think about this study? Do you find these items to be more likely to be stolen around the holiday season, or is shoplifting prevalent regardless of the time of year?


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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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