When you think of socks, you probably don’t see a high shrink category. Socks, for the most part are relatively cheap. You can pick up a 12 pack for ten dollars, or so. Next time you’re in a shoe store, pay attention to some of the name brands. High end performance socks can go upwards of $20 a pair! Theft in this area can quickly add up. I worked as a loss prevention manager for a company that specialized in athletic footwear and apparel. It’s always going to be impossible to stop shoplifting completely, but a few simple measures in your store could help drastically reduce losses from theft.
About four years ago, I was conducting a routine audit of one of the stores in my district. I was making sure the managers were complying to the company’s physical security standards and that general safety practices were being adhered to. While in the footwear section of the store, I noticed a kid in his late teens acting a little odd while browsing the athletic socks. I called over to the loss prevention agent working in the store and we both began live observation. It wasn’t long before we began to witness the suspect remove and conceal about fifteen pairs of socks that retailed for $24.99 each. There were anti-shoplifting devices securing the socks, but he simply placed them down the front of his pants. As the suspect exited the store, an apprehension was attempted, however he fled with the merchandise. Since we won’t chase down a shoplifter, we made sure to give the video to local police and I went on about my day, albeit, a little disappointed and frustrated.
A few days went by and I found myself at another one of my store locations. I was in the store to close out an employee theft case. After the employee was arrested for theft, I walked the sales floor for a few minutes to clear my head. As I was walking though the footwear department, I saw the same shoplifting suspect that had stolen the socks from a different store location and ran. Again, I watched as he loaded his pants with varying sizes of all the same color socks. The Checkpoint Tags securing the socks didn’t seem to phase him. I contacted local police, but he was able to get out again before the police could arrive. Twice gotten by the same shoplifter. I was really frustrated. When the responding officer came to take my report, he asked to see the video. Upon viewing the recording, he recognized the suspect. He told me that my shoplifter was the quarterback of his kid’s high school football team.
It was Friday and there was no doubt a game. The officer asked if I would want to accompany him to the school, which was a ½ mile down the road. Eager for a road trip, I agreed. We spoke to the coach, who brought out our suspect. He admitted to shoplifting, but wouldn’t tell us what he had done with the merchandise. It was about this time that I noticed that the entire team was wearing the same style socks as what were stolen. I mentioned this to the officer and upon closer inspection; we proved that the socks were ours. On each sock, there was a hole where the anti-shoplifting device had been. The star quarterback had out-fitted his entire team with stolen socks.
For more information, contact us: anti-shoplifting, or call 1.770.426.0547