“Store A” is one of the few remaining retail merchants in the United States which sells only CDs and vintage LPs, audio cassettes, and 45 rpm records. Every item in the store sells for $10.00.

Whenever “Big Lenny”-a retail thief with eclectic tastes in audio products-steals a $10 item from Store A, the owner of Store A must then sell approximately 10 (ten)  items priced at $10 each to recoup his  loss from that one stolen item.

Do the math and you realize that if Store A does not deter Big Lenny and shoplifters just  like him, each of whom might steal several items each week from Store A, that retail store will be out of business within six months.

This “retail math” applies to both large and small retailers, whose profit margins are much lower than customers estimate them to be. As a result of such “shrinkage”, retail merchants such as Store A have gone out of business due to  undeterred retail theft committed by store employees or customers. 

Economic survival is  a major reason why many retail merchants have made it their  “store policy” to arrest and prosecute ALL shoplifters, regardless of the value of the merchandise. There is some disagreement concerning the effectiveness of that policy. More about that next week.

The Tier- 1 Program provides education, information, assessment, and referral services for first-time arrested retail theft offenders. Its  multi-disciplinary staff  has also provided consultive and research services for more than 27 years to retail merchants, law enforcement, and members of the judiciary who want to establish self-supporting alternative sentencing and intervention services for individuals charged with retail theft.


© Michael J. Pisani 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael J. Pisani and Tier1Program with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.