Tis’ the season…
Ah the Christmas Season, a celebration of Christ’s Birth! A time of worship, joy and merriment, family and friends, gift giving, good cheer, good will and the lifting of spirits! Unfortunately there’s a lot more than spirits being lifted during the holiday season, everything from small, fit in your pocket items, to large refrigerator and automobile size items will be carted away from stores by sticky-fingered shoppers eager to find a five fingered discount. Tis’ the season for major shoplifting and theft! Ho Ho Ho!
Every holiday season immediately following Thanksgiving the alarm sounds as the shoplifting season begins! Try as they might, retailers continue to lose the battle against those shoppers who believe it is better to steal than to purchase and believe me, there are more than you may think. Many people believe our lagging economy is to blame. With the large number of people out of work it makes sense, but the economic factor is misleading. The vast majority of the unemployed and others hurt by the economy seem to find a way to make ends meet and make it through the holidays, only a handful resort to stealing. No, even in good times shoplifting has always been a problem, particularly during the holidays. Last year in the four weeks leading up to Christmas retailers lost $1.7 billion. This year they are expected to lose $1.84 billion. The total loss to retailers due to shoplifting for the entire year is expected to be in excess of $119 billion. Although this amount sounds extreme, it only amounts to 1.45% of total sales.
So, if it’s not the economy driving shoplifting what is it? Believe it or not, only a very small percentage of shoplifters do it out of true necessity. There are also some lifters who suffer from kleptomania and simple can’t help themselves, but they a relatively small group. A much larger percentage is the result of professional and organized shoplifting rings, who steal for financial gain but they do not make up the largest percentage. Shoplifting is a crime of opportunity and the vast majority of shoplifters do it spontaneously just for the thrill or the rush they get from the act or out of sheer boredom or depression. The Christmas season brings out more shoplifters than any other time of year. It’s much easier to steal when stores are crowded and store employees are busy.
And just what kind of items are shoplifters stuffing their pockets with instead of their stockings? Well, just about anything! The most popular items taken during the Christmas season include perfume, whiskey, health and beauty products, clothing, fashion accessories, watches, books, and DVD sets. Merry Christmas indeed!
With just 9 shopping days left until Christmas hopefully all your Christmas shopping is finished and you don’t have any reason to go back out into that shoppers madness! But I know there’s always those shopping procrastinators who wait until the last minute to get things done, so if you must go out there tread cautiously. Remember shoplifters aren’t the only robbers and thieves eager out there. The holidays also bring with them a rash of purse snatching, armed parking lot robberies and assaults. Take care.
Tis’ the Season…