Rich Ladies Love Shoplifting, Feel Entitled To Freebies Now And Then

An article in today’s New York Post reveals something I probably could have told you myself — that rich ladies sure do love shoplifting.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a long and storied history as a shopgirl. I can tell you that the two groups of people most likely to shoplift are gaggles of white teenage girls and rich older ladies, specifically those with baby carriages.

According to the Post, these women feel that given the amount that they spend on clothes at places like Anthropologie and Intermix, they feel entitled to some free stuff here and there:

At Anthropologie, some upper-middle-class women buy $400 kaftans and $500 clogs — and then “accessorize” for free.

“We were taught that our prime shoplifters were women and girls who were regular shoppers at ­Anthro,” said one ex-employee, who every night would find piles of security tags in the fitting rooms that were taken off apparel that day.

“They would spend insane amounts and at the same time steal a few items because they felt that given they had spent so much money, they were entitled to freebies,” the Anthro insider said.

There is, of course, always those who are in it just for the thrill:

Makeup mecca Sephora sees shoplifters sliding lipsticks and perfumes up sleeves — often items the thrill-seeking thieves don’t need or want, like foundation in the wrong shade or a mascara ­tester used by hundreds of people.

“It becomes a cat-and-mouse game: What are you going to see me take today?” said a former Sephora employee, who once busted a yuppie mommy hiding a stolen booty of cosmetics and skin products just behind her baby’s head in an $800 Bugaboo stroller.

Because retail workers can’t really straight up call people out on shoplifting in most instances — both for their own safety and the store’s fear of getting sued if they’re wrong or not able to prove it – retail workers usually try to deal with this stuff by providing excellent customer service. Really, it’s all they can do.

I actually have some additional insight into this, not just as a former shopgirl. You see, embarrassing as it is to admit, I had a bit of a shoplifting problem myself in middle school. It was never anything big — mostly Wet ‘n’ Wild nail polish and cheap jewelry — but it got to the point for a minute where I would walk into a store and think, Oh, hey, what is here that I could get away with stealing. Didn’t matter what it was, even. I also think once you’re like, Oh shit, I can totally get away with this and no one will stop me, you just keep doing it.

I think it had a lot to do with being bored and in a small town where nothing was ever happening and the coolest thing we could do being like, smoking cigarettes in a graveyard or having my mom drop us off at the mall. It was a stupid, stupid thing to do — and I’m really lucky I didn’t get caught.

I do, however, think it’s important that people — especially retail workers — are more aware of who it is that is actually doing the shoplifting. I don’t want any cookies or anything, but when I was 16 I walked out of my job at a mall retail store after being asked to follow some Black women around the store because the manager assumed they’d be shoplifting.

I subsequently had this same argument several times with many people throughout my career. It’s an insulting and racist thing to do, number one, but number two, you end up not paying attention to the people who are actually more likely to steal from you. Which if you ask me, means you kind of deserve it.

[New York Post]