Shoplifting can be detrimental to business owners, as billions of dollars’ worth of merchandise are stolen from retail stores every year. Often, the holiday season is the time of year when shoplifting is especially problematic. In a season that lasts just over a month, shoplifters cost retail stores approximately $6 billion. The toll is especially hard on large retailers like Walmart, Macy’s, Target, and Gap.
Why Shoplifting is Worse During This Time of Year
The holiday season is the time when many retailers make a large percentage of their annual sales—as much as one-third of the year’s entire revenue. However, the winter holidays are also the time of year when retailers incur 37 percent of their annual shrink loss.
During the winter shopping season, the average store’s product mix changes considerably. More expensive merchandise is often displayed to entice holiday shoppers and encourage impulse buys. With more valuable items available, shoplifters are also more tempted. This also means that even if the same quantity of items is stolen during the holiday season, those items cost more on average. Consequently, stores end up losing more through theft than at other times of the year. The increase in shoplifting can also be linked with the overall surge of shoppers. More foot traffic in a given store often correlates to more stealing.
Some shoplifters who steal during this time of year are also more likely to rationalize their behavior. They may convince themselves they are stealing because their child’s Christmas is at stake rather than for financial or personal gain. Such justifications, obviously, do not hold up in court when that person is arrested for retail theft.
The merchandise loss for retailers in the US was $132 per person in 2016, with similar numbers forecasted for 2017. Of that total, about $50 per person is expected to be incurred during the holiday season. These losses place an enormous burden on retailers and result in stores being forced to raise their prices in order to cover their losses. This ultimately means that shoplifting costs honest shoppers who pay for it in higher prices.
Petty theft and shoplifting are often dismissed as insignificant crimes because they involve taking something of relatively little value. However, the consequences can be significant. At The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we know that sometimes good people make poor choices. If you have been charged with shoplifting or retail theft, you need an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney to protect your rights, while building an aggressive defense strategy on your behalf. Contact our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.