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WSU Newsline: Shoplifting adds to retailers' woes during holidays
Wednesday, December 3, 2008 10:34 AM

The scripts are available for printing and for sound bite identification.

Go to http://www.wichita.edu/newsline to get the current Wichita State University Newsline. If you cannot access the Newsline at the Web address above, contact Joe Kleinsasser at (316) 978-3013 or joe.kleinsasser@wichita.edu. Newsline cuts may be edited to suit your needs. If you have additional questions for Paul Cromwell after listening to the WSU Newsline, please contact him at (316) 978-6502 or paul.cromwell@wichita.edu.

Background:
Retailers hope consumers will open their wallets during the holidays in spite of the economic downturn. Retailers know shoppers will look for bargains, but they hope that not too many shoplifters are looking for a steal. Paul Cromwell, a Wichita State University criminologist who has interviewed about 500 shoplifters in Florida, Texas and Kansas, provides some analysis on shoplifting.

Voice wrap:
Announcer: Shoppers are looking for bargains during the holiday shopping season, but some people may be looking for a steal. According to several recent national studies, one in 12 to one in 15 customers will be involved in shoplifting. Paul Cromwell, a Wichita State University criminologist who has interviewed about 500 shoplifters in Florida, Texas and Kansas, says the economic downturn isn't the only reason some people turn to shoplifting.

Cromwell: "One of the findings in my research over the years is that stress leads to shoplifting to a great extent. Surprising enough, though, it's not necessarily economic stress. It could be stress on marital relations, other kinds of personal stress that people experience."

Announcer: As if shoplifting isn't a big enough challenge, Cromwell says employee theft may be a bigger problem. About 50 percent to 52 percent of all inventory shrinkage in retail stores is accounted for by employee theft. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

Sound bite #1
Cromwell says shoplifting is fairly constant whether the economy is booming or we're in a recession. The sound bite is 7 seconds and the outcue is "a recession."

Cromwell: "The extent of shoplifting is relatively stable regardless of whether we are in a booming economy or in a recession."

Sound bite #2
Cromwell says we should expect an increase in shoplifting during the holidays. The sound bite is 14 seconds and the outcue is "economic boom."

Cromwell: "We should see an increase in shoplifting in the coming economic times, particularly around the holiday season. But it's actually no different than if we were in an extremely affluent economic boom."

Sound bite #3
Cromwell says there's no such thing as a typical shoplifter. The sound bite is 15 seconds and the outcue is "general population."

Cromwell: "There's no such thing as a typical shoplifter. It doesn't follow the normal rules. We have young and old. We have men and women. We have black, brown and white. Shoplifters tend to represent the general population."

Sound bite #4
Cromwell talks about the losses attributed to shoplifting. The sound bite is 14 seconds and the outcue is "retail establishments."

Cromwell: "Shoplifting accounts for more than the overall losses of burglary and crimes such as that. The overall loss is estimated to be somewhere around 15 billion dollars per year from retail establishments."

Sound bite #5
Cromwell says employee theft is as great a problem as shoplifting. The sound bite is 15 seconds and the outcue is "by employee theft."

Cromwell: "Employee theft is as large or possibly even a greater problem than shoplifting. Approximately 50, possibly 51 to 52 percent of all inventory shrinkage in retail stores is accounted for by employee theft."

Sound bite #6
Cromwell shares recent statistics about shoplifting. The sound bite is 10 seconds and the outcue is "in a store."

Cromwell: "Several recent national studies indicate that one in 12 to one in 15 customers in a retail environment will steal something while in a store."

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Contact: Paul Cromwell, (316) 978-6502 or paul.cromwell@wichita.edu.
Created on Dec 3, 2008 10:34 AM; Last modified on Dec 4, 2008 8:22 AM