Retailers are already fighting for their very lives with the ongoing saga of store closures and entire chains going out of business.
But that’s hasn’t elicited any sympathy from the criminals! They continue to plague the beleaguered industry with what’s commonly called ‘shrinkage’ — aka shoplifting.
The 2016 National Retail Security Survey notes that shoplifting costs the overall U.S. retail economy about $45 billion annually.
Of course, it isn’t just retailers that pay the price for shoplifting. We all do in the form of price hikes and strict return policies.
Here’s what criminals are stealing the most from stores
Health and beauty
Teeth whitening strips
Diabetic testing strips
Weight loss pills
Children’s electronic toys
The price we all pay for shoplifting
If you’ve ever had difficulty doing a legitimate return to a store, you’ve felt the effects of shoplifters.
Retailers have to practically treat you as a criminal when you go to return something — especially if you don’t have the receipt — because it’s so common for real criminals to try to return stolen merchandise for cash!
They’re just trying to protect themselves against organized crimes rings that make a living fencing stolen goods.
More and more stores now have those gift receipts if you ask. So be sure to ask for them to help make returns easier.
Some retailers including Walmart maintain databases by driver’s license that track how many returns you make over time. If they see you’ve done too many returns, they may shut you down next time you try returning something without a physical receipt. Even if it is a legit purchase!
There are a number of apps that will catalog receipts for you on your phone. All you do is take a picture of the receipt and these apps will catalog by date and store. That way you do have a proof of purchase always handy.