Shoplifting is considered to be the world's second oldest profession. For centuries, merchants have been keeping watchful eyes on their shops in order to deter thievery and make profits selling goods to their customers. In the last four decades, those watchful eyes have been assisted by a number of initiatives including trained personnel and technology and some innovative ways to present products for sale while trying to protect them from theft. Unfortunately, some of the latter efforts also result in sales deterrence as well.
Your authors have almost seventy-five years of retail loss prevention experience between them, and not only have they seen a lot of shoplifters and the ways they steal, they also have developed and driven a lot of initiatives to prevent theft from occurring. John retired from Macy's West where he was VP of loss prevention and King retired from Target Corporation where he served in the same capacity. They have seen how the world's second oldest profession has changed on their watch. In their opinion, shoplifting now accounts for the largest contributor to shrink overall, more than any other cause including employee theft (except, perhaps, within convenience stores), administrative errors, and vendor fraud.