I rarely get personally involved in the posts and drama that I write about here. I’d like to remain an outside observer, a zoo keeper, giving the facts as they happen with a bit of humor through the lens of common sense.
Our piece Shoplifting Bloggers Exposed got a lot of attention, a lot of people sent me personal messages on the matter regarding their own beliefs when it comes to shoplifting. I’d like to take a moment to deconstruct some of those while sharing some funny update screenshots.
The most frequent claim by the pro-shoplifting side is “sticking it to the corporations”. “WAKE UP SHEEPLE corporations aren’t people, down with capitalism!” I’ve never worked in retail directly but throughout my career acting as a representative, brand rep, product marketer for the brands and vendors that often display their products in stores the one thing I can confirm beyond any shadow of a doubt is IF you manage to “stick it to them”, the people that will feel it the most are the part time minimum wage workers, the $35k a year managers Christmas bonus, the community itself, even at the lowest rung of the ladder in corporate it couldn’t damage me! So there’s NOTHING that’s going to befall billionaires. In fact the biggest name in retail and keeping employees in poverty has a condition that if goods are stolen it’s the vendor that eats the loss.
What will happen? Costly anti-theft programs will be initiated, increasing the amount of stress, tasks and lowering the morale for those minimum wage workers. You ARE creating jobs for detectives in Loss Prevention running around 100k a year if that’s your goal.
The worst case scenario is prices rise for everyone else to compensate for your theft. You might think “well everyone should just steal like I am”. Do you think a single mother of three can risk arrest, imprisonment, the stigma on future job opportunities having to explain what she’s done in interviews? No so she has to suck it up and pay up to $300 more a year to compensate what you’ve taken for free. All of this and your shitting up your community.
I’d like you to take a minute to listen to this Chris Rock act:
In it he’s speaking about the difference between the “black” and “white” mall. It’s a great analogy of the type of service you will expect in high crime vs low crime areas. In my experience I’ve found this to be true, I could walk into a low crime store as a representative of my company, ask to see the display of our products which will be clean, polished, products organized and facing out exactly as the merchandisers envisioned, a customer can pick up a product, read the back, our brand representatives/ambassadors can directly engage the customer, they can walk it up to the counter and go home happy.
High theft stores that just doesn’t happen. Walk into a store getting lost in a maze of detectors, ask to meet the manager but can’t because he’s ALREADY talking to police. Wait until that’s done, he walks me over to a display that’s behind glass, in a metal cage, with a bike chain on it, three different associates have different keys they have to synchronize to unlock it, and we’re not actually keeping the product in there, it’s just a decoy you take up front so the cashier can call someone else to bring the actual product out of a safe in the back holding up the line and when you finally think your finished a security guard checks your receipt.
Now eventually anyone is going to get sick of this crap and go to another store! There’s 2 stores I can think of, 6 miles apart, one of them is a nations top seller, the other one does the worst in the country. What I described above is the difference between them. People from the high crime, high security store will drive, bus, whatever to the nicer store to buy the same stuff. This effects tax income which has a direct effect on the quality of education, services the government provides, assistance ect.
Let’s say you actually like that product. Well when I sit down to do my reports and I see x has gone unsold because the stores inventory didn’t remove x because you stole it we might come to the conclusion we don’t need to send more x, or nobody likes x.
If you really want to try to make a dent in how corporations treat their employees, you’re not going to do it shoplifting. You’re a statistic, you’re part of the business plan. Personally I don’t think that’s why you do it but I felt all of this was worth saying. You are making life harder for the little guys that do a thankless job, for low pay, in your community. If you really wanted to change the system support companies that pay living wages. Off the top of my head I can think of Costco, Gap, Starbucks, Whole Foods, simply don’t frequent businesses whose model is based around keeping employee costs low. Spend your money where employees are treated well and use the same energy you put into blogging what you stole to let these companies & other consumers know why.
But I think we both know you’re just stealing because you want free stuff, or you have a problem or both. If you were actually making half the brave political statement you’re beating your chest about you’d be proud everyone is letting everyone else know who you are. Kind of like how this blog is called “Millertime” and not “whiny little punk hiding from his parents and justifying his misdeeds with uneducated hypocrisy-time” Just know I told you who you’re actually fucking over.