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A daily look at what we buy, how we spend, and the companies that do right - and wrong - by their customers.

shoplifting - All posts tagged shoplifting

  • Jul 1, 2011
    12:00 PM ET

    Talking Shop: The Spoiled American Shoplifter

    The Penguin Press

    Like plenty of other Americans, Rachel Shteir watched with curiosity the 2001 Saks Fifth Avenue surveillance footage of Winona Ryder lifting $5,500 worth of socks, hairbands and clothing “I became fascinated with the idea of someone who didn’t need to shoplift, shoplifting,” she says. Her new book, “The Steal,” tackles the question of why people take five-finger discounts and what stores’ $11.6 billion in annual shoplifting losses means to law-abiding shoppers.

    Pay Dirt: Who is the typical shoplifter these days?

    Shteir: That’s the interesting thing — there is no profile. There’s no particular type of person we can look at and say, that person shoplifts.

    Pay Dirt: We’ve heard a lot about the celebrity shoplifter, a la Winona Ryder or Lindsay Lohan. Where do they fall in?

    Shteir: Celebrities are like us, so they shoplift when they get anxious, or when they feel like they deserve something they don’t have. The reasons aren’t that different from your average middle-class shoplifter.

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  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.