Recent research from Hayes International revealed that, on a global scale, retailers lose somewhere in the vicinity of $15-20 billion a year to shoplifters. The total value lost per incident has been increasing too. While this can partially be attributed to inflation, it also indicates that thieves are getting smarter about what they steal.
From the best formula for babies to the most expensive types of cheese, here are nine of the items shoplifters favor when they’re hitting grocery stores:
1. Cosmetics and beauty products
These items tick a lot of boxes for shoplifters. They’re small and easy to conceal but are also often expensive. Stolen cosmetics and beauty products may be kept for personal use or sold at less than the regular retail price. When paid nothing to get an item, you make a profit no matter what.
As one of the few legal recreational drugs, it’s no wonder coffee is so popular the world over. It’s always near the top of the list of the world’s most traded goods, and each year, it battles water and tea for the title of “world’s most consumed beverage.” Given its immense popularity and relatively high price, coffee regularly earns a place on the list of most commonly stolen supermarket goods.
Cheese can get expensive, especially if you have a taste for the gourmet. So, it’s no surprise that this is one of the most common items stolen from supermarkets. Cheese often tops the list of the most shoplifted goods in the UK and Europe. As the cost of living continues to climb throughout 2023, we may see it surge to the top of statistics in other parts of the world.
4. Baby goods
From the best brands of baby formula to the cutest little outfits, baby products are incredibly popular among shoplifters. Though some will go on to sell these items, as they do with cosmetics, others are simply acting out of desperation. For this reason, it’s a good idea to donate money or old baby products to worthy causes.
We’re sure we don’t need to explain why this one is high on the list. However, we will add that lubricant is often stolen with them.
The idea of eating a steak that’s been marinating down the front of someone’s pants while they sweated their way out of a grocery store is horrendous. However, plenty of people must do it because meat is always high on the list of stolen grocery store items.
You can basically take everything we said about coffee and apply it to chocolate – it’s one of the world’s most traded goods, it’s delicious, it gives you a small but noticeable and perfectly legal high, and it’s an expensive luxury for a lot of people. So, it’s commonly shoplifted for personal enjoyment or a way to make a little easy money.
8. Over-the-counter medicine
From painkillers to flu meds, these items are small, easy to hide, and always in high demand. Travel sickness and allergy meds containing Diphenhydramine (DPH) are especially popular because the compound is addictive.
9. Razor blades
By now, you’ve probably figured out the theme – shoplifters love items that are small, expensive, and easy to resell. Razor blades tick all these boxes.
Though these items are popular among thieves, that also means they come with added security and protective measures. So, anyone making an attempt to steal them may be in for the shock of their lives when they’re met by security at the supermarket doors.