Most Stolen Products: Cosmetics
Maybe she's born with it. Maybe she's stealing Maybelline.
The UK-based Center for Retail Research listed cosmetics in general as the number-two category in its Shoplifters' Hit Parade with makeup, perfume, hair care, skin creams, and tanning products specifically targeted. And, make no mistake, these are discriminating thieves who don't just pop any old tube of mascara at random into their pockets. According to Joshua Bamfield, the center's director, "... shoplifters are as brand-conscious as any shop customer."
Data released from the National Retail Federation supports Bamfield's claim. The high-end hair-care product line from Bumble and bumble, CoverGirl (PG) cosmetics, and RoC (JNJ) and Oil of Olay skin-care creams topped statistics for most stolen items among the nation's largest retailers. Even Rogaine hair-growth products made the "hot" list, so look for the guy in the police lineup with a full head of hair.
The Center for Retail Research claims that nearly a half a million people shoplift at least once a year and the petty thieves who plan to personally use the merchandise typically steal five to 10 items in one fell swoop. In that case, the outlaw daughter of former crime-buster Mayor Rudy Giuliani who lifted five items from a Manhattan Sephora store worth a total of $100 deserves a little credit for bringing up the rear of the cosmetics crime wave.
On the other end of the beauty theft spectrum are organized retail crime rings, which target the products for resale on Internet auction sites. A Florida investigation called Operation Beauty Stop uncovered a crime spree in which $100 million worth of personal-care contraband had been stolen from retailers including Sweetbay (DEG), Target (TGT), and Walmart (WMT), and resold on eBay (EBAY) from a seller listed as Lola's Discount Warehouse.
The National Retail Federation warns against purchasing health and beauty products on such online auction repositories because their safety may be compromised. "Many health and beauty products on these sites may have expired or be spoiled, posing real health risks to the buyer," said Jospeh LaRocca, the federation's vice president of loss prevention.
While women may feel like they're getting robbed by L'Oreal for having to fork over $9 for a tube of Colour Riche Lipstick, they could pay a much higher price for a discounted version at auction. So stick with a legitimate distributor... because you're worth it.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.
Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.