According to Ad Week, shoplifting has gone up six percent in the U.S. this year and retailers may have lost up to $119 billion to shoplifters in 2011. Estimates are that one in 11 people walk out of a shop with at least one item they did not pay for.
The yuletide season brings about a sharp increase in the incidence of shoplifting as shoppers seeking season's bargain come under pressure to claim it with five sticky fingers.
According to Ad Week, 75 percent of shoplifters are adults and only about 3 percent of shoplifters are '"professionals." Most have jobs, and many, after being caught, confess they had not planned to shoplift . According to Johnny Custer, director of field operations for Merchant Analytic solutions, in an interview with Ad Week, shoplifting continues to soar because people,
"...succumb to temptation. But add a sense of desperation because of the economy and holiday pressures, and you have the recipe for theft soup."
According to Barbara Staib, spokesperson for the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention, "Seventy percent of shoplifters tell us they didn't plan to shoplift."
The list of the top most shoplifted items in stores and supermarkets is remarkably eclectic. Ad Week lists items stores and supermarket security experts say are most at risk of shoplifting:
Filet Mignon, which shoplifters simply tuck under their jackets; expensive liquor, electric tools and power tools, iPhone 4 (a research group, according to Ad Week, claims 100,000 laptops are stolen annually from stores), non-disposable shaving razors such as Gillette Mach 4, men's deodorant and body wash, Polo Ralph Lauren (Ad Week reports clothing theft is up 31 percent since 2009); Chanel N0.5 and other expensive perfumes, and top athletic shoes such as Nike.