We just don’t know how much inventory has been stolen from retail stores. The reason we don’t know is because retailers are using euphemisms to describe what is really happening. Their financial reports disclose that retailers are experiencing higher “shrink.” But “shrink” can mean loss of inventory value, as when you have increasing difficulties moving those Pelotons out the door unless you slash the price. Your inventory value of your Pelotons is cut in half. “Shrink” could also mean that goods were damaged in transit.
What retailers are not saying is that shoplifting, smashing and grabbing, and, well, stealing, are on the rise. There is “organized retail crime,” not “shrink. However, the retail stores do not wish to offend. After all, it is their vault those designer bags, wallets, and belts are needed for going out shopping for food.
Retailers say little because they do not wish to offend. They just bemoan their inability to to take off the financial pressure of shrink. It would be better to bemoan the fact that their “shrink” will not end any time soon. That’s because no one who is stealing, shoplifting, and smashing and grabbing is being arrested. We watch them on videos each night. One shoplifter this week dragged out the entire display stand to which the designer bags, which were being stolen, were hooked. How hard can it be to walk down the street and find a 30-year-old man wandering the streets pulling a Nordstrom display case who is looking for wire cutters?