SANTA’S HELP-YOURSELFERS

As Christmas shopping swings into high gear, so does another retail phenomenon – shoplifting. Just like everyone else, the five-finger artists get quite busy this time of year. And the easiest, most often hit targets are the big department stores.

The stores themselves have difficulty keeping any precise records regarding net losses through shoplifting – there are too many variables. But they do have some observations regarding shoplifters’ preferences. Sanger’s, for example, estimates that some 90% of all goods lifted from their stores is ready-to-wear (most of it stolen by adults). Even the more diversified stores, such as Sears and J. C. Penney’s, estimate that some 60% of their stolen goods are clothes. The other popular As Christmas shopping swings into high gear, so does another retail phenomenon – shoplifting. Just like everyone else, the five-finger artists get quite busy this time of year. And the easiest, most often hit targets are the big department stores.

The stores themselves have difficulty keeping any precise records regarding net losses through shoplifting – there are too many variables. But they do have some observations regarding shoplifters’ preferences. Sanger’s, for example, estimates that some 90% of all goods lifted from their stores is ready-to-wear (most of it stolen by adults). Even the more diversified stores, such as Sears and J. C. Penney’s, estimate that some 60% of their stolen goods are clothes. The other popular Yuletide items are sporting goods, cameras, and hardware.

The stores’ best guess as to how much is actually shoplifted is that the amount runs close to 1% of total sales. Department of Commerce figures for last year’s Christmas shopping season show that the 73 department stores in the 6-county Dallas area (including Denton, but not Fort Worth) had some $178 million in retail sales in November and December. Using the 1% estimate, it means that almost $2 million worth of goods were stolen in the Dallas area department stores last Christmas.

Oddly enough, the stores say that the percentage of shoplifted goods against total sales does not notably increase at Christmas. That percentage only rises once a year – at Easter. Figure that one out.

Yuletide items are sporting goods, cameras, and hardware.

The stores’ best guess as to how much is actually shoplifted is that the amount runs close to 1% of total sales. Department of Commerce figures for last year’s Christmas shopping season show that the 73 department stores in the 6-county Dallas area (including Denton, but not Fort Worth) had some $178 million in retail sales in November and December. Using the 1% estimate, it means that almost $2 million worth of goods were stolen in the Dallas area department stores last Christmas.

Oddly enough, the stores say that the percentage of shoplifted goods against total sales does not notably increase at Christmas. That percentage only rises once a year – at Easter. Figure that one out.

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