All the shoplifting and theft that occurs at our stores do not effect profit that much, its really quite insignificant actually.
Its the main reason, my company chose to not pursue shoplifting, and actually if a store mgr tries to pursue or calls police, he can be written up, its company policy to in effect ‘do nothing’, even for fuel drive offs (people leaving without paying for gas), policy is to only record license number if possible and that is only for store use, if we see them again, we can deny them service and ask them to go elsewhere, but thats it.
I didnt believe this policy at first, but they explained they had an incident years ago where some manager caught a guy trying to walk out with product, and the manager restrained him, and the thief reported THIS to the police, and the big one…he called our company hotline to complain!! LOL and yes, our CEO thought it wise to just close our eyes to theft from now on! They are more concerned with people calling the hotline to complain rather than stealing inexpensive items, which are marked up 250% already. its really crazy, but Ive been there for almost 8 yrs and theft does not appear to have that much effect on our P/Ls…??
Cigarettes are kept behind the counters, but when its busy, and there are long lines with only 1 or 2 employees working, crafty people just run back and grab a pack or two, and usually are not even noticed. There are no doors or barriers to prevent people from walking back behind the counter.
We do keep track of theft though, its one of my duties, I have a list of items that I have to track from store to store monthly, we dont do anything about it, but do like to know how much theft is going on and what is being taken.