Corporate suicide?

M@elstrom

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Awfully curious about the specifics here as shoplifting has become both a cause célèbre in some quarters and an improbable excuse that retailers have raised during earnings calls to excuse poor performance with scant evidence while other operational deficiencies loom large (ala huge inventories and poor internal procedures). I've little doubt that corner cases can be found - both in terms of policy and retailers being ruined by shoplifting - but I'm a tad skeptical that this is a widespread blanket policy or key details are missing.

Shop lifting has increased here as well, more and more Stores are adopting the "hands off" policy as they fear possible litigation from apprehended thieves MORE than losing stock, that said I will no longer work loss prevention in such a capacity.

Recently an employee at an Auto Store challenged a shop lifter stealing brake disc rotors (using a pram), the company disciplined the employee and it went viral in our media, he was offered a job at a rival Auto Store.

 

ampdude

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I was under the impression the prison sentence itself was paying your debt to society. You should get to keep anything you already have which was earned legally. So now they take all your possessions, too? Seems like punishing you twice for the same crime, as well as severely limiting your prospects to live legally when you do get out.

Yes.. think about it. How do you pay the bank for your mortgage when you're in prison. What happens to your possessions and vehicles. You have nothing when you get out, leaving you to a life of crime (as a FELON) for the rest of your life to get by. It keeps the "legal justice system" going.
 

jtr1962

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Yes.. think about it. How do you pay the bank for your mortgage when you're in prison. What happens to your possessions and vehicles. You have nothing when you get out, leaving you to a life of crime (as a FELON) for the rest of your life to get by. It keeps the "legal justice system" going.
That's true. I'm assuming though you might have somebody to look after your interests while you're "away". You could sell the house and any other valuable possessions, then just keep that money in a bank account. Or invest it. Obviously you need someone you trust a lot to take care of your affairs this way.
 

idleprocess

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Shop lifting has increased here as well, more and more
While there are numerous instances in the US where it's risen to the point that the viability of a given store or location has been genuinely threatened, it's become a convenient boogeyman for national retailers in the face of well-documented mismanagement: bloated/slow-moving inventories, marketing blunders, poor internal controls. These specific locations do need some solution lest they close up shop, but that should be targeted rather than the blanket inconveniences that retailers are seemingly inflicting on the shopping public.

Stores are adopting the "hands off" policy as they fear possible litigation from apprehended thieves MORE than losing stock, that said I will no longer work loss prevention in such a capacity.
Can't speak to .au, but the calculus for invoking shopkeeper's privilege in .us is a moving target involving fast-moving situations. The US is an extremely litigious society with scores of trial lawyers willing to work on contingency, thus the mere prospect of being served a lawsuit which will cost a considerable sum to fend off weighs into the text of many a policy manual. It takes countless successful interventions to make up for a single lawsuit, settled hastily for a relatively low sum.

You have nothing when you get out, leaving you to a life of crime.
While this is not a certainty, decades of data suggest this is much more likely since the level of trust society has in any given ex-convict is markedly lower than a rando that has not been to prison. Those headwinds are very real.
 

letschat7

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Yes.. think about it. How do you pay the bank for your mortgage when you're in prison. What happens to your possessions and vehicles. You have nothing when you get out, leaving you to a life of crime (as a FELON) for the rest of your life to get by. It keeps the "legal justice system" going.
That isn't true. You just work as an illegal would under the table or you can get a felon bond from Workforce and get a job that isn't so concerned about people's past.

Crime can pay but in my country the criminals aren't typically very smart or possessing a work ethic. They pretty much need liquidated. I heard it is K.O.S. for MS13 in their home country. If they did that here with white tattooed drug addicts we could solve nearly all the crime and poverty problems.
 

letschat7

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I wonder if shops had minders that if you are a suspicious person you could be escorted around as soon as you enter a property. They make sure you don't do anything stupid and pay for your purchase and escort you all the way off the property. If they aren't smart enough to get an education, work for a living, to not mark up their body, or not to use drugs they can't be counted on for reliabilty. If they make some mistake and don't immediately have the money to pay for damages or goods and services they could be detained until the authorities get there then they are just not heard from again.
 

M@elstrom

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While there are numerous instances in the US where it's risen to the point that the viability of a given store or location has been genuinely threatened, it's become a convenient boogeyman for national retailers in the face of well-documented mismanagement: bloated/slow-moving inventories, marketing blunders, poor internal controls. These specific locations do need some solution lest they close up shop, but that should be targeted rather than the blanket inconveniences that retailers are seemingly inflicting on the shopping public.

Local supermarket chains are offering alternative shopping solutions, direct-to-boot is one such option given rise during the climate of covid restrictions, yet another is a purely drive through approach, both with Staff doing the traditional leg work of the consumer... the upside is stores operating entirely in this manner would be in a position to almost eliminate convertional stock loss threats.

 

hamhanded

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Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer

A few people here are advocating for automating or otherwise increasing the effectiveness of detaining people under the shopkeeper's privilege.
The next part of the system is the entry/exit points. If unpaid merchandise is detected, you're trapped in a vestibule. At that point you're given two choices-return the unpaid merchandise, or wait for the authorities to arrive. Either way, your picture gets taken. You get added to the store's database of known shoplifters. This database can be shared with other stores. If you give the merchandise back, that's it, you can go. No charges (that's the politically correct part).
Have you never paid for an item but found the security tag was not removed or deactivated before exiting the store? I sure have. So many times in my life I could not count. I'd be getting locked in many vestibules, and I suspect you would be, too.

This would, at first, seem to fall under shopkeeper's privilege. And, even ignoring the enormous fire safety liabilities this solution would present to shopkeepers, there is the issue of the abuse of the shopkeeper's privilege.

Wikipedia on shopkeepers detaining a suspected shoplifter: "If the shopkeepers exceed the bounds of this privilege and make an arrest, the lawfulness of their action will be determined by the jurisdiction's rules governing arrest by a private citizen. The shopkeepers' privilege is for the purpose of investigation only; if, after reasonable detention and investigation, the shopkeepers mistakenly conclude that the suspects are guilty and have them arrested, the shopkeepers may become liable for these acts just as they would have been had they committed the acts without undertaking a prior detention and investigation.[3]

So, let's say I get locked into one of these vestibules because I paid, but the security tag still went off. Then, I choose not to cooperate, because I've paid for my item and I know it, and I am not under any obligation to cooperate. If the police arrive and arrest me because I refuse to cooperate with them as well (also well within my rights), that court case would then result in liability for the shopkeeper once the receipts are pulled out of evidence.

All it takes one person doing that to render any savings from reduced shrinkage completely moot.

Now here's the good parts. Besides the obvious (i.e. the person wasn't able to steal the merchandise) next time they enter the store facial recognition cameras will tag them as a known shoplifter, and lock them in the vestibule.
That's just false imprisonment with extra steps. I won't get into the pitfalls of facial recognition technology like false positives and privacy concerns, because rest assured, it already exists, is actively in use in both the private and public sector, and at this point everyone in this thread is nearly guaranteed to be in at least one facial recognition database somewhere.
 

yearnslow

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As far as I can see, it seems that there are nefarious forces at work to destroy the US.
The same thing has been happening in Europe for years.
Massive unrestrained immigration, which overburdens the infrastructure.
Weakening of the Police and criminal justice system.
Elected politicians telling the population, by legislation, that men are women and vice-versa,
And if you disagree with any of these ideas, you are racist/transphobic, all of which is deliberately designed
to Humiliate and confuse the citizenry, make no mistake.
The middle class are slowly being brought down to paycheck to paycheck level,
And will eventually, when all their money has been taken off them, become just like the immigrants in terms of status.

I've watched this unfold, unchallenged, for the last 40 years.

I watched a film last week, called Elysium, you should watch it, it's not that far removed from the planned end game.
 

jtr1962

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Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer

A few people here are advocating for automating or otherwise increasing the effectiveness of detaining people under the shopkeeper's privilege.

Have you never paid for an item but found the security tag was not removed or deactivated before exiting the store? I sure have. So many times in my life I could not count. I'd be getting locked in many vestibules, and I suspect you would be, too.
Never happened to me. But then again, I just about never buy high value items which might have security tags in retail stores. However, assuming your scenario happens, you could just pull out your receipt to prove you paid for the item. Then you're let go, and any pictures taken of you are erased from the database.
This would, at first, seem to fall under shopkeeper's privilege. And, even ignoring the enormous fire safety liabilities this solution would present to shopkeepers, there is the issue of the abuse of the shopkeeper's privilege.
The idea is to keep the person from leaving. If local fire safety codes would be violated, then the store has to figure out some other solution.
Wikipedia on shopkeepers detaining a suspected shoplifter: "If the shopkeepers exceed the bounds of this privilege and make an arrest, the lawfulness of their action will be determined by the jurisdiction's rules governing arrest by a private citizen. The shopkeepers' privilege is for the purpose of investigation only; if, after reasonable detention and investigation, the shopkeepers mistakenly conclude that the suspects are guilty and have them arrested, the shopkeepers may become liable for these acts just as they would have been had they committed the acts without undertaking a prior detention and investigation.[3]

So, let's say I get locked into one of these vestibules because I paid, but the security tag still went off. Then, I choose not to cooperate, because I've paid for my item and I know it, and I am not under any obligation to cooperate. If the police arrive and arrest me because I refuse to cooperate with them as well (also well within my rights), that court case would then result in liability for the shopkeeper once the receipts are pulled out of evidence.
Why wouldn't you just pull the receipts immediately if you've paid for you item? Note that the premise here is the store failed to properly mark your item as paid, either by removing the security tag, or if it was RFID, deactivating it. Maybe this calls for a much more reliable method of marking items as paid.
All it takes one person doing that to render any savings from reduced shrinkage completely moot.
Sure, and this may well be why stores aren't taking more thorough security measures.
That's just false imprisonment with extra steps. I won't get into the pitfalls of facial recognition technology like false positives and privacy concerns, because rest assured, it already exists, is actively in use in both the private and public sector, and at this point everyone in this thread is nearly guaranteed to be in at least one facial recognition database somewhere.
My idea here isn't to imprison people. It's simply to flag prior shoplifters so security can kick them out. Maybe you could do that with an alarm which goes off if one these people enters the premises, but security would have to react pretty quickly if the person doesn't leave when they hear the alarm sounding. Stores have a legal right to keep problem people out. They were doing it by low-tech means for decades. I even recall one local grocery store doing this. The same guy would come in, put groceries he was buying in the plastic bags used for produce. This would screw up the price scanners. I don't know what his goal was, but his nonsense constantly delayed checkout lines. One day I was there while the manager was telling him to stop coming back.

Whether we like it or not, facial recognition will only be widely expanded in the future. Sadly, the main reason might be for marketing purposes, so when you walk by an ad display in a store, you get targeted ads. I know it's not foolproof. Maybe there are better ways.

Remember even though some of these measures might have issues, in some cases the alternative is for the store to just close up shop because the theft rate is unsustainable. Either that or securely keep the merchandise in hardened vending machines until it's paid for.

Another way to stop this is to locate and shut down the places these stolen goods are bought to. That probably has fewer legal pitfalls. Have GPS locators in random high-value items which are regularly targeted. When one of these shoplifting gangs comes in, you let the police trace the goods to their destination. If stolen goods can't be easily resold, that pretty much stops stealing cold.

BTW, what ever happened to the concept of just wheeling out a cart full of items which are all scanned on the fly, and charged to your credit or debit card? I saw a commercial for that over a decade ago. I would think this would be feasible by now. You pretty much eliminate shoplifting, while also getting rid of checkout lines.
 

pnwoutdoors

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I was under the impression the prison sentence itself was paying your debt to society. You should get to keep anything you already have which was earned legally. So now they take all your possessions, too? Seems like punishing you twice for the same crime, as well as severely limiting your prospects to live legally when you do get out.

Keep in mind it's not cheap keeping someone in prison. You don't have to be a bleeding heart to realize the best course is to give a person the tools to live without resorting to crime, then release them as soon as they're no longer deemed a danger to society. "Tools" could include remedial education, an HS or college degree, vocational training, and upon release job placement, along with finding them a place to live. Hand everything to them on a silver platter as far as I'm concerned, but with the warning if you turn to crime again we're not going to be as soft on you.

The hard truth is prisons as they are now generally turn people into worse criminals.

I wouldn't even be entirely against some type of adverse conditioning, as in "A Clockwork Orange", if it actually worked.

It isn't inexpensive, correct.

Neither is a lifetime of having the truly incorrigible violent types still around, in society.

I'm all for heavy renovation of all existing "shop" buildings to have a defensible, effective control upon ingress and egress. Hell, even today, K-12 schools still get built without much consideration for such design (though, that's beginning to change). But, clearly it would take enormous sums and time, and many won't have anything to do with such changes. In which case, such ease of ingress/egress will continue.

It's all well and good to think of such things. But until people are willing to have "hardened" perimeters and entry/exit zones, with all the appropriate staffing and procedures to make it work, there's precious little that can be done to halt "smash and grab" stuff. Particularly when so many such people are turning to violent, multi-perp jobs. Hard to be, say, a small jewelry shop and survive when a dozen perps come in violently and rapidly clean out half the display cases ... when very little has been done to make any such attempts ineffective.

Is what it is. We all wish it weren't. Perps know it. Far too few architects and building owners appreciate the simple realities. Cameras only record what occurs; they don't halt it as it occurs. A few more staff sounds good, but it doesn't go far when such staff who lift a finger get sacked for daring to do so. People who want an open-egress facility get what they've wrought, basically. Until they take full and effective responsibility for that, and for the change, it'll continue. (And I think most know it, however much whining they do to "the authorities.")
 

hamhanded

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As far as I can see, it seems that there are nefarious forces at work to destroy the US.
I happen to agree, but on the basis that these nefarious forces are at work distracting the populace by stoking polarizing, endless internal conflict to keep us occupied: straights vs. gays, blacks vs. whites, liberal vs. conservative, red vs. blue, all the while those same forces are busy robbing both sides who are now too busy squabbling to notice.

I really can't bring myself to believe the social issues that divide us so deeply are simultaneously simple enough to have only two sides of debate, yet so complex that no mutually acceptable position can ever be found. And, not only do all of our issues seem to have only two sides of debate, they all fall neatly and predictably into red team/blue team, complete with cognitive dissonance and inconsistent ideologies across the board.

It's almost as if solving these social issues would eliminate the need for the people who are paid to work on solving them...

Why wouldn't you just pull the receipts immediately if you've paid for you item? Note that the premise here is the store failed to properly mark your item as paid, either by removing the security tag, or if it was RFID, deactivating it. Maybe this calls for a much more reliable method of marking items as paid.
In this hypothetical thought experiment, it's principle. I've received my item, I've handed over my money, the transaction is done, but now I'm accused of shoplifting and detained. I have neither obligation nor desire to bear the embarrassment of a false accusation because an automated system decided that out of everyone else leaving the store, I in particular, am a thief.

I know that Costco has receipt checkers, because it's a membership only store that requires you to pay and identify yourself to them to even enter in the first place. A transaction was made before I entered the store, and the terms of the agreement include that. In those scenarios I fully support their methods because they were known to me, I agreed to them to enter, and everyone is checked upon leaving, instead of particular individuals. Maybe that's a solution, but it sure would be inconvenient and unpleasantly invasive to identify myself and pay to enter every store I encounter.

On a completely unrelated note... I love this forum. I can't think of a single other forum where discourse like this could happen without it turning into a ruthless mudslinging contest full of personal attacks and ill will.

CPF, uniting the world through lighting the world.
 

pnwoutdoors

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In this hypothetical thought experiment, it's principle. I've received my item, I've handed over my money, the transaction is done, but now I'm accused of shoplifting and detained. I have neither obligation nor desire to bear the embarrassment of a false accusation because an automated system decided that out of everyone else leaving the store, I in particular, am a thief.

I would suggest that showing paid-for products along with proofs of the purchase, prior to exiting, isn't "accusation" (let alone false). It's verification. It's their product and their shop. They've every right to ensure items are only removed by people who've legitimately paid for it.

Same with, say, an automobile dealership lot. Big money in those vehicles. Same with purchasing a ticket to board a commercial airline flight. At the "choke point" 100% of people get double-checked, just to make sure that everyone attempting to get on actually has purchased a seat on that specific flight. Or, consider a potentially even more-dire scenario, the picking up one's child from first grade; without proofs, leaving with that unknown/unproven parent could be the last thing that child ever does.

Offensive though it might seem, it's hard to see any other effective means of erasing the incidence of illegitimate removal of items from a facility ... whether a child or product. If there is one, I'm sure muckety-mucks in retailing, schools and the like would be all ears.
 

idleprocess

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I would suggest that showing paid-for products along with proofs of the purchase, prior to exiting, isn't "accusation" (let alone false). It's verification. It's their product and their shop. They've every right to ensure items are only removed by people who've legitimately paid for it.
The ideal time to perform an exit check is during the transaction because ownership is exchanged upon settlement of payment - the moment the receipt is generated being the tell to customer and shopkeeper alike. Outside of a membership club, participating in blanket exit checks post-transaction are a courtesy extended by customers to the retailer. And even within the constraints of a membership club, failing to abide by an exit check isn't prima facie evidence of theft, merely petty violation of the membership agreement.

Same with, say, an automobile dealership lot. Big money in those vehicles.
As titled goods, legal ownership of automobiles is inherently more complex than retail goods. Even a cash payment customer never drives off the lot with a title in their name - that takes the state some time to process.

Same with purchasing a ticket to board a commercial airline flight.
Passenger transportation is a service whose corporeal logistics involves being in very specific places at specific times.
 

pnwoutdoors

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The ideal time to perform an exit check is during the transaction because ....

It's often ineffective.

Problem is, though, checkout areas at retailers are all too often not right next to the exit areas. And, almost without exception, no facility has the actual means (short of staff laying hands forcibly on a thief) to halt unlawful removal of property from the facility.

Checkout via a staffer's actions does ensure what gets into the bag gets correctly scanned then paid for.

But plenty of people simply walk out, occasionally carrying items right through the wide-open exit area. Short-staffing doesn't help. Architectural design lack doesn't help, either. And cameras can only document a situation. Halting it is something else entirely.
 

orbital

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About a month ago I was reading an article on 'corporate shrinkage'
..didn't know it was a thing.

Have to say it does become a convenient excuse if your company isn't doing well in many ways.
 

letschat7

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On a completely unrelated note... I love this forum. I can't think of a single other forum where discourse like this could happen without it turning into a ruthless mudslinging contest full of personal attacks and ill will.

CPF, uniting the world through lighting the world.
Well even if someone here has an occupation you don't care for or some political belief you disagree with it matters little because they are usually pretty cool otherwise and they like flashlights.

I really get more bothered by some users here that make bids on Surefires or Maglites on Ebay when I'm trying to get them for as little as possible.
 
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