The audacity of swipe

This part-time Target clerk apparently has persuaded himself that shoplifters are an important sector of the economy:

I see them all the time from my perch at the customer-service desk at Target. There are the return stringers — people on the front end of loose-knit shoplifting gangs — hired to return purloined merchandise for store credit using a driver’s license. Recently, a pimple-faced, tattooed and gap-toothed young man returned more than $60 of Oil of Olay age-defying cosmetics.

I did not ask what would have been obvious questions. Do you have a receipt? Did you pay with a debit or credit card? Have these improved your skin?

I gave him a gift card.

Because, you know, it’s better to indulge a little thievery than to hurt the feelings of someone who might be a paying customer some day.

As if. I’ve seen no evidence of this among the deadbeats constantly trying to wheedle 42nd and Treadmill to accept their order today, for which they will gladly pay us at some unspecified future time. Once in a great while one of them does. (Plus fees, because we aren’t entirely dim.) But the idea of making an example of one of them as a signal to the others has never occurred, not to us, not to Target, not to anybody.

(Via Lileks.)


  1. Charles Pergiel »

    10 September 2012 · 9:19 pm

    Good security is difficult. Cheap security is what gets the honest customer harassed which brings all kinds of negative publicity. Better to suffer 10% loss from shoplifting than 20% loss of sales due to an overzealous security drone. That’s today’s theory anyway.

  2. fillyjonk »

    11 September 2012 · 7:31 am

    And of course,that 10% shoplifting loss can just be tacked onto the prices the honest citizens pay.

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