in LPRC Reports


Differential Shoplifting Risks of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods
By Brian T. Smith
Dissertation Chair: Ronald V. Clarke
In 2011, shoplifting accounted for over $50 billion in costs to retailers. It has been
estimated that, in 2012, stores had to “mark-up” the price of products by 10 to 15 percent
to make up for losses. Thus, shoplifting is a burden paid for by stores and honest
customers. Shoplifting is an opportunistic crime and shoplifters are attracted to expensive
and luxurious products. However, there is a good deal of theft of lower-priced and
“everyday” products known as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). FMCG are found
in drug, grocery and supermarket stores. Some examples of FMCG are toothpaste, razors,
vitamins, deodorants, and cosmetics. Although these products are relatively inexpensive,
they are purchased, consumed and shoplifted more than other products because of their
nature and purpose. Their total dollar values of theft easily surpass other, less-frequently
stolen but luxurious products. They are also the main products to be shoplifted and resold
at illicit markets. A large amount of FMCG shoplifting is motivated by illicit market
demand. Certain products are preferred over others because of their attributes. Models of
theft preferences (e.g., CRAVED) have proven effective promise in explaining variation
in general theft. To better understand variation in product theft, this study tests CRAVED
– the general model of theft preferences, and a new model of theft preferences