This is a guest post by Kole McRae for Security Gates 

Big cities are a shopper’s paradise. Their endless retail outlets even tug on the purse strings of reluctant shoppers. Unfortunately, they also attract the attention of people looking for five finger discounts, and so these stores are especially vulnerable to crime.

The National Retail Federation issued a warning to retailers in these large metropolitan areas. They advised them that since organized crime is on the rise, they’ll have to increase their security measures. Every year the industry loses 15-30 billion dollars to theft.

Thieves especially target clothing, small appliances, electronics, and gold because these items are easy to sell online and at flea markets. Some even set up small businesses with these stolen goods. Over 96% of retailers have been affected by theft. Here’s a list of the stores most affected.

Clothing Stores

Clothing retailers continue to be those hardest hit by crime. From inside jobs where employees walk off with armloads of clothing, to shoplifters who also take their fair share, retailers are doing everything possible to slow down this epidemic. Designer clothing outlets are especially targeted since shoplifters are people with impeccable taste.

They want to get dressed in the latest designer duds, but much of the theft cannot be attributed to personal shopping. Organized crime rings know it is a lot easier and more profitable to sell designer clothing for a profit. Designer jeans and Ralph Lauren clothing are the number one targets.

Electric Tools

Shoplifters like to help themselves, not just to the goods on retailers’ shelves. Apparently retail robbers also are handy do-it-yourselfers and so power tools, small appliances, KitchenAid mixers, vacuums, lawn mowers, and even electric toothbrushes are goods they target. Yes, shoplifters like to keep their mouths clean.

Electric tools are also targeted because of their high resale value. A lot of small electronic businesses have been established on these stolen electric items.

Gadgets Stores

Gadgets are the way of the future for most of us. Apparently they are just as crucial to thieves who understand the principles of supply and demand. Apple products are not excluded in any way, form or fashion.

They fly off the shelves and into the pockets of conning shoplifters. Employees are just as guilty, skimming hundreds of iPads and iPhones and putting a new spin on the term iSteal. Laptops and other brands of smartphones are hot market items, so it’s no wonder that retailers lose these by the thousands every year.

Grocery Stores

Don’t think for a minute that thieves are only taken in by non-perishable materials. Your local supermarket might be the store that is hardest hit by crime. Shoplifters might walk away with expensive cuts of meat, infant formula, cigarettes, alcohol, and energy drinks but it’s the insider jobs that management are most worried about.

Employees, especially those involved in receiving the goods have been helping themselves to truckloads of goods from larger supermarkets. Their firsthand knowledge of procedures and hidden cameras make it simple for them to set up these operations.  Selling stolen meats, canned goods, fruits, alcohol, cigarettes, and infant formula has long been their way of supplementing paltry incomes.

Cosmetic Counters

The cosmetic industry is a billion dollar industry, and thieves want to get their fair share of the pie. Cosmetic stores and counters are subject to high rates of theft. Lotions and creams, especially those that reverse aging are among the highest items targeted.

Lipsticks, mascara, and fragrance are also high on thieves’ agenda. They particularly love the smell of high end perfumes like Channel No. 5 and those from other designers like Ralph Lauren and Este Lauder.

Toy Stores

Around Christmas time, toy stores are swamped with an onslaught of visitors looking to make the season merry and bright for their kids. Included in this lot are savvy shoplifters who also want children everywhere to open packages on Christmas morning. By all accounts, organized crime rings steal hundreds of toys during this season of giving to sell to parents eager to get popular toys at heavily discounted prices.

Charity Shops

Managers of charity stores apparently have not been immune to sticky fingers. Selling items that are already heavily discounted in order to raise money for specific causes, these stores are now targets for organized crime.

There could be many reasons why these stores are targeted. For one, most of the staff members are volunteer workers, so they are grossly understaffed. Another reason is that in most cases they do not invest in the security measures used by most other retailers

One would think that thieves would be swayed by the nature of a charity store and take their business elsewhere, but judging by the rates at which these stores are hit, they apparently don’t have a heart for causes.

Do you think retailers need to invest more in security for their stores?

 

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