You read an article on a shoplifting ring that has just stolen $10k worth of electronics from a store. Chances are, you don’t think twice. It’s common. Shoplifting happens every single day, so this is no different. The next day, maybe you see an article where a guy got busted at a local grocery store shoplifting steaks. Chances are, if you’re like me, it invoked a stronger reaction. More on the lines of “I can’t afford to eat steak every night and I HAVE a job!” You don’t have that new electronic device that was stolen yesterday, and yet you still go to work every morning. Why do we have such different reactions to someone stealing meat?
People spend a lot of money at the grocery store, and most folks visit them more often than any other type of retailer. Think about how many times you are in the supermarket every week. Probably more than twice. Since I travel so often, I don’t buy a lot of food at once. I’ll buy just enough to get me through a couple days so nothing spoils. So if I, the legitimate shopper am spending money daily, one could assume that shoplifters are in just as frequently. So on top of ever approaching expiration dates, thin margins, employee theft and a myriad of other sources of loss, I ask again, why is shoplifting steaks gaining so much attention? I think it has everything to do with the perception of the shoplifter. Shoplifting can be a source of shame, and the shoplifter is most often cast in this light and is thus looked down upon; someone below the normal everyday man. So when a prime cut of meat (which is reserved for those who can afford it) is stolen, we think on some level how unfair it is for this person, who doesn’t deserve to eat this, to simply steal it. Why can’t they get a job and pay for that meat?
You are in business to make money. One way you accomplish this is by keeping your prices competitive. In today’s retail climate, customer’s want a bargain, so if they can get that same cut of ham down the road for $.25 less, chances are they will. One way to keep your prices low is to stop theives from shoplifting steaks. Grocers nationwide are seeing this trend and it will no doubt grow unless you do something about it. People steal from the grocery store because they are seen as an easy target. Most family run shops lack even the most basic physical security controls and I’ve never run across an LP team at one, either. You have options, though.
First, if you’re not already reaping the benefits of a Checkpoint System, I would encourage you to look into them. If you already have one, great. Checkpoint makes an entire line of labels specifically designed for consumable product, such as steak, cheese and other high end cuts. These give you the security you need to minimize shrink and the peace of mind knowing it is 100% safe for your customers. Meat theft will be, in my opinion, a very fast growing theft trend that will plague retailers that don’t take the appropriate steps to secure their inventory. In fact, I saw this first hand just a few days ago at my local grocer. That story and a little more can be found in part three of my series on Meat Theft.
For more information, contact us: Grocery Store Meat Theft, or call 1.770.426.0547